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Old 08-18-2016, 01:12 PM   #1
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Question What is God's Economy?

I'm unsure if I'm in the correct forum

Simple question: What does the Local Church mean with the Lord's Economy?

While I was there I heard people talk about it (at times it seemed to come out of nowhere), but they never explained it to me.

Thanks.
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Old 08-18-2016, 02:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: What is the Lord's economy?

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Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
I'm unsure if I'm in the correct forum

Simple question: What does the Local Church mean with the Lord's Economy?

While I was there I heard people talk about it (at times it seemed to come out of nowhere), but they never explained it to me.

Thanks.
It's a concept of church history which parallels the restoration of Israel/Judah to the good land after being conquered and carried off to foreign lands by Assyria and Babylon, recorded in the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, Zechariah, Ezekial. Like Israel, supposedly all was lost of the truth and the proper church during the Dark Ages, and starting with Luther, God slowly "recovered" all the lost truths, with each successive generation building on the one before.

LSM and the LC's claim to hold this unique distinction. They claim that the rest of Christianity has never returned to the "proper ground" in Jerusalem to rebuild the "temple" of God. Thus they alone are the true testimony of Jesus.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: What is the Lord's economy?

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They claim that the rest of Christianity has never returned to the "proper ground" in Jerusalem to rebuild the "temple" of God. Thus they alone are the true testimony of Jesus.
That explains their condescending view of other churches. But why use the word "economy"? Or are they using it as a kind of synonym for "recovery"? "Economy" seems out of place.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is the Lord's economy?

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Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
That explains their condescending view of other churches. But why use the word "economy"? Or are they using it as a kind of synonym for "recovery"? "Economy" seems out of place.
I think Ohio misread you, and answered for the "Lord's recovery". Supposedly the church got degraded, then God raised up specially anointed vessels like Martin Luther, Watchman Nee, and Witness Lee to recover the truth. Sorry, only one Specially Anointed Seer per age (generation), so don't apply. Also supposedly the "age of spiritual giants" is now over, because Witness Lee recovered all possible truth from the Bible.

What you were referring to is known as "God's economy", and it means that salvation is by getting filled with the Spirit of God and this will "Sonify" you or "Divinize" you. Make you God in life and nature but not in the Godhead.

So salvation isn't dead works but inner filling with the Holy Spirit which transforms you into the same image, from glory to glory. They also call it "dispensing".

But it seems to me, having been out of that group for some time now, that they miss the idea of obedience. Their idea is, Just get filled, and enjoy God, and you will become God bye and bye (that's colloquial English for at some point, eventually).

But it is Jesus' obedience that gives us hope. We the unrighteous see the Righteous One, and live. And then He calls us, and says, "Follow Me". Follow Him how? Dispensing? No, obeying. "Even as I obeyed the Father's commandments, so you obey My commandments."

But how can we obey, if we are the sinful, disobedient ones? Because by faith we see Jesus before us. Like Peter who looked out of the boat, and saw Jesus there, walking. "Lord if this is indeed You, bid me come". By faith we follow Jesus. By faith we see Him (this is only by the Spirit that we see Him[Jo 15:26]), and by faith we follow. He calls His sheep by name, and they hear His voice, and follow.

Anyway, that's my alternative to "dispensing" and "God's economy".
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is the Lord's economy?

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Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
That explains their condescending view of other churches. But why use the word "economy"? Or are they using it as a kind of synonym for "recovery"? "Economy" seems out of place.
I'm sorry. In my haste I read the question to be what is "recovery?" Oops.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is the Lord's economy?

The way that the LC uses the phrase God's economy highlights a lot of what is wrong with the LC. The word economy, as it is found in the RcV, is used in place of words like stewardship or administration which are found in other versions. The meaning is the word is the same, but LCers think that this word economy that they (through the help of Lee) have supposedly stumbled across was some great secret in the Bible.

Go and ask any Christian if God has an administration/stewardship and you should get a resounding ‘yes’. Ask an LC member if Christians outside the LC know about God’s economy and you will probably get ‘no’ as an answer, along with a lecture about how ‘degraded’ other Christians are.

In other words, economy represents a common and perhaps unspoken understanding about how God operates, but what the LC has done is to turn it into a buzzword. You will hear phrases like “remaining in God’s economy…” or “the central lane of God’s economy” and it leaves you wondering just what the really mean when they use it. Of course, lots of members know only how to throw around these words and phrases, but as it turns out, it is an attempt on the part of LC leaders to refocus everyone on something other than God, that being the ministry of WL.

In the LC, the construct of God's economy is what they believe everything to revolve around. They even believe it to be a basis by which to reject certain of the Psalms or even whole books of the Bible like James. As aron mentioned, God’s economy is thought to result in the eventual deification of the believer. So when you take a step back and look at what is going on, the LC has taken a relatively simple understanding of how God operatates, and told members that they must submit themselves to that understand/paradigm rather than God himself. As Christians, we know that God is a manager, that He is arranging things on our behalf, but we don’t fully know what He’s doing or how He’s doing it, so there’s really no such thing as “seeing” or “leaving” God’s economy. That’s not our decision to make.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: What is the Lord's economy?

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What you were referring to is known as "God's economy", and it means that salvation is by getting filled with the Spirit of God and this will "Sonify" you or "Divinize" you. Make you God in life and nature but not in the Godhead.
It was this kind of thinking which made me want to run to the door at light-speed and never look back. Nothing scares me more than someone saying "Ye shall be as gods".

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But it seems to me, having been out of that group for some time now, that they miss the idea of obedience. Their idea is, Just get filled, and enjoy God, and you will become God bye and bye (that's colloquial English for at some point, eventually).
I experienced the same thing. More than once they said that we shouldn't live with a view of things as "right" and "wrong". They believe that the Forbidden Tree was the tree not only of evil, but of good also. This confused me immensely. Are they saying that Good is Evil? That doesn't make sense.

Since I got saved I've tried to live a cleaner and more righteous life. I believed (and I still do) that we should always strive (with pain if necessary) to do what is Right. For a while I fell for their view of not having to do what is right. It was only after watching seminars by Ray Comfort that I realised that I was right and they were wrong.

(I know Comfort is a controversial man, but look up America's Greatest Sin and Hell' Best Kept Secret).

But thanks. I could never completely understand what they meant with the "god-man".

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The meaning is the word is the same, but LCers think that this word economy that they (through the help of Lee) have supposedly stumbled across was some great secret in the Bible.
This is one of the first things I've noticed. The idea of a "secret" which other Christians know nothing of was very weird to me. I merely dismissed it as not being that important. I didn't realise that they put that much emphasis on it.

Isn't it disturbing how the LC, whether the church itself or Christians on Campus are all so alike? I understand common teachings here and there, but this is extreme. I live in South Africa and I read posts by people in the US, Philippines and Germany, and you all have curiously similar experiences.

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I'm sorry. In my haste I read the question to be what is "recovery?" Oops.
I guess it was my mistake. I confused "Lord's Recover" with "God's Economy". But I wasn't so sure what they meant by the "recovery" as well. So thanks anyway
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Old 08-19-2016, 04:56 AM   #8
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.................
Thanks for the information.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:06 AM   #9
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I guess it was my mistake. I confused "Lord's Recover" with "God's Economy". But I wasn't so sure what they meant by the "recovery" as well. So thanks anyway
These were distinctly loaded words which were drummed into us by Lee. It was always The Recovery or The Lord's Recovery. Likewise it was always God's Economy or God's New Testament Economy.

Lee presented these and other concepts as the long lost recovered secrets unique to his ministry and the entire movement. I can go anywhere in the world, throw out a couple of these coded catch phrases, and be instantly recognized as an insider. On the other hand, if I say any of these in other churches, they immediately scratch their head and wonder about me.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:13 AM   #10
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It was this kind of thinking which made me want to run to the door at light-speed and never look back. Nothing scares me more than someone saying "Ye shall be as gods".
The verse you quote from Proverbs is apt: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is death". The LSM Local Church is all about what 'seems right'. They make a big deal of seeming to be rooted in orthodox Christian history and theology. But they've got hidden histories (quarantines, rebellions, storms, lawsuits, bankruptcies) and hidden esoteric theologies and practices, teetering at the brink of heterodoxy, the end of which is isolation and death.

The best way to survive in the Local Church is to practice tight information control. They'll fixate on verses which seem aligned with their theology, and dismiss the "fallen" or "natural" verses that don't line up with "God's New Testament Economy." Related, their version of Church history is absurdly truncated. It's as if there were maybe a dozen or twenty noteworthy Christian authors and thinkers between the age of the apostles and today. Certainly Nee and Lee would brook no peers. So you get a very strange view of the church - supposedly only one or two selected pockets of light; the rest is darkness and can be safely ignored, or even disparaged.

My own take is this: in the first century, there was no "New Testament" and those who lived the events and wrote them down constantly appealed to the scriptures, what we call the Old Testament. But over time the NT writings were held (rightly) to be authoritative in their own. But as oral traditions dropped away and the canon of scripture became more or less fixed, what was said became less important than what was written. This is completely opposite of the first two centuries, where the oral tradition was sacrosanct and written materials were less trusted. (for example, today you can find an Apocalypse of Peter and Acts of Paul and Thecla etc. A lot of books were being written, not all of them aligned with actual events). To know the "truth" in the second century, you'd have to find someone who'd been discipled by one of the original apostles, or by one of their followers, etc.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_Paul_and_Thecla

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apocalypse_of_Peter

By the Reformation at the end of the Middle Ages, the burgeoning Protestant theology, supported by the idea of "Scripture alone", began to re-examine all the texts with their theology in mind, and only their theology.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sola_scriptura

The problem that I see is that the Protestant theologians had the scripture, and their reasoning, or logic, but almost no supporting material. So things could mean whatever they needed to mean for a coherent picture to hold in place. Now, this was still a great advance because there were a lot of smart fellows (it was mostly men who did the heavy thinking; women were held to be too emotionally unstable); but they were still limited in their ability to understand the New Testament texts as the original authors and readers might have. The surrounding conversations and shared understandings were almost fully gone from view. Again, think of the OT; when I grew up in Protestantism the OT was held to be merely a book of "law" (which we know couldn't save anyone - salvation is by grace alone), history, and poetry/wisdom, and some garbled apocalyptic prophecy.

So the table was set for anyone like Nee or Lee to come along and say, "This means that". Oikonomia to Lee means dispensing, calling on the Lord and being filled in spirit/Spirit. Oikonomia in Lee's Local Church doesn't mean stewardship, responsibility, faithful and continual obedience to one's set of tasks from the Master of the house.

What ultimately made the Witness Lee group so wretchedly deformed in understanding and practice was that anyone who'd raise their hand and say, "Hey, not so fast- maybe Oikonomia means responsibility and continual obedience more than merely dispensing" would be charged with being ambitious, divisive, factious, and rebellious. I'm not kidding - in the Local Churches if you attempt to think critically that's verboten. Only the Oracle can think, and reason. The Oracle said, "This means that" and that's it.

I'm a Protestant who sees the Local Church as a cautionary tale for Protestantism gone very wrong, an isolated splinter sect clearly gone off the deep end ("You and your followers have gone into the ditch"[Lu 6:39; Mat 15:14]). Today we can humble ourselves and be open to all believers, not just those who think "exactly the same", and admit we don't know the last word, and don't have the final say on "truth". Today I'm slowly becoming a student of the Word, connected to my fellow students. And that means students of all Scripture, not just a few epistles from the NT which seem beguilingly "high", e.g. Philippians and Colossians. The people who wrote the NT were deeply rooted in shared understandings of first-century Jewish thought. They just happened to believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

To ignore first-century Jewish thought as somehow passe is to miss a large part of what was conveyed in NT writings. Lee of course missed this almost completely. In his eyes, scripture could be whatever he needed for his organizational contingencies and merchandising operation. And yes he was a merchandiser; of words and ultimately of the bodies and souls of men. Today there are dozens or perhaps hundreds of young people out there "serving the ministry" on college campus (that's your friendly neighbourhood Christians on Campus group).
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: What is the Lord's economy?

It's a term by which Witness lee claimed to recovered and profited from financially. It's been said Lee's content in the 1964 Economy of God conference were notes from T.A. Sparks' messages. Most likely messages T.A. Sparks had given during 1950's.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:50 AM   #12
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I'm a Protestant who sees the Local Church as a cautionary tale for Protestantism gone very wrong, an isolated splinter sect clearly gone off the deep end ("You and your followers have gone into the ditch"[Lu 6:39; Mat 15:14]).
A very good point which I will consider in the future.
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:45 AM   #13
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It's a term by which Witness lee claimed to recovered and profited from financially. It's been said Lee's content in the 1964 Economy of God conference were notes from T.A. Sparks' messages. Most likely messages T.A. Sparks had given during 1950's.
Very interesting.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:08 PM   #14
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DistantStar,

(First, I must admit that my Freudian slip would be to call you DarkStar, referring to a song by CSN back in the 70s.)

The Lord's economy, or "God's Economy" is taken heavily from the opening verses in 1 Timothy. Specifically 3 & 4. If you read the opening chapter of his book on the subject, Lee mentions no other verse and argues a peculiar meaning that is essentially not taken by any other. And he uses some tricks of argumentation to stop the listener/reader from questioning his certainty of position. For example, he says something like "a thorough investigation of the entire Bible will reveal that . . . ." Of course, no one is going to actually do such an investigation. And he has hinted that he has done it. And declared that it will reveal his answer. So you either go along or you have to start into just such an investigation.

In the realm of logical discussion, his method is designed to provide no actual information but suggest that the requirements to contradict are so difficult as to be impossible, thus shutting off debate. The astute arguer will simply reject such an assertion and ask for actual evidence that it is so.

On top of that, Lee takes the two verses in which Paul says (in so many words) stop certain ones from preaching garbage which results in problems rather than resulting in "God's economy." (Whether you like the term "economy," it is one of the reasonable words into which it is translated.) But that means that A results in B while C (unmentioned but implied) results in D. Garbage teachings result in problems (A --> B) while good teachings result in God's economy (C --> D). The issue at hand is teachings. You can presume which kind of teachings based on what they produce.

The "problems" are not the garbage teachings (not saying that the teachings are not problems, but that they are not their own result) but are the result of the garbage teachings. And God's economy is not the good teachings, but the result of them.

Yet Lee then insists that the thing that should be taught is "God's economy." He then declares that it is simply God dispensing himself into man (what the thorough investigation was about) and says that is what should be taught. In other words, the C --> D structure is invalid and Paul's parallelism is destroyed. Good teachings don't result in God's economy. The only good teachings are God's economy. And they produce something else.

But that isn't what Paul said. So no matter how much some of us may still like some things about the whole "God's economy" teaching, it was created through a serious mishandling of scripture. (by a master mishandler, IMO)

If you are on board with him, then turn to chapters 2 and following and you will get "enlightened." But if you are not on board, those chapters wills start to fall apart. I started looking at the first chapter when someone started quoting from a much later chapter to try to support some Lee/LCM construct that was just too crazy to buy (at this point in time). Did that open my eyes to the way Lee worked. (I have to admit that my reading of Lee's works prior to that were almost always quick scans. Lee was hard to read and didn't really do much for me.)

And given that the rest (of The Economy of God) is somewhat a house of cards, even if he got some of it from TAS, I doubt that the things that were emphasized to us were actually from TAS because I don't think TAS taught that kind of nonsense.
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Old 08-28-2016, 05:23 PM   #15
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OBW has done a good job of describing Lee's version of "God's Economy".

I've done a Word study on the word that is translated economy "oikonomia" in the Recovery version in some instances, stewardship in others, and dispensation in yet others. And I've come to some conclusions:

1) The word stewardship is a better translation than economy whenever it occurs in the New Testament and conveys what it means better than economy.

2) It would be helpful to stick with the word stewardship and steward when "oikonomia" occurs, instead of flopping back and forth (as many other translators also do) to simplify the understanding.

3) God's oikonomia is the stewardship of God's grace entrusted to His servants to announce to both Jews and Gentiles that God's eternal plan is to head them and all things up in Christ (as Paul defines it in Corinthians, Ephesians and Colossians).

4) According to 1 Timothy 1:5 the end (or goal) of Paul's charge to Timothy is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and unfeigned faith, something that was sorely lacking in TLR.
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:19 AM   #16
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God's oikonomia is the stewardship of God's grace entrusted to His servants to announce to both Jews and Gentiles that God's eternal plan is to head them and all things up in Christ (as Paul defines it in Corinthians, Ephesians and Colossians).
Nice summary, and findings. I wanted to comment on one point. To me, the key to understand scripture is not to study Paul in isolation, but to approach Paul through Jesus. Jesus was the Master, Paul the disciple.

Thus, 'oikonomia' as translated 'stewardship', with the associated meanings of continual obedience to a charge or responsibility (in this case distribution of household goods and management of those affairs) should color any reading of Paul's ideas of 'economy' or 'dispensing arrangements' [. . .''of the Processed and Consummated Triune God'']. For example, see Jesus' parable on the "unrighteous steward" in Luke 16, where Jesus uses this specific word (vv. 2,3)

Otherwise we may get distracted, seized upon by a word that fancies us, and get taken somewhere neither Paul nor Jesus intended us to go. As brother HERn noted well, "Satan is a gospel preacher". . . don't let people use the Bible to make merchandise of you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 Peter 2:3
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (KJV)
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Old 08-29-2016, 01:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: What is God's Economy?

Also apropos of nothing, really: it may well be that Lee's usage of "God's economy" wasn't his idea but was cribbed from the same 19th century sources that Vincent and Alford used, and which were often re-used by Lee with the barest of re-packaging.

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I reviewed several of the works I'm in the process of doing some indexing of and discovered that, gasp, Lee's reference to the very phrase "divine economy" in the very sense he meant it (on the over-arching side vs. the dispensing side) has precedent in these works. "Economy" was apparently a somewhat familiar term of art for Bible scholars of the era referring to a dispensation or the dispensations of the ages. Thus, "God's economy" in the sense of God's entire plan in His universal administration is simply not something that could be attributed to Lee as his invention. .
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:54 PM   #18
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Thus, 'oikonomia' as translated 'stewardship', with the associated meanings of continual obedience to a charge or responsibility (in this case distribution of household goods and management of those affairs) should color any reading of Paul's ideas of 'economy' or 'dispensing arrangements' [. . .''of the Processed and Consummated Triune God'']. For example, see Jesus' parable on the "unrighteous steward" in Luke 16, where Jesus uses this specific word (vv. 2,3)

Otherwise we may get distracted, seized upon by a word that fancies us, and get taken somewhere neither Paul nor Jesus intended us to go. As brother HERn noted well, "Satan is a gospel preacher". . . don't let people use the Bible to make merchandise of you.
In the LC, a scenario I saw replayed many times is where a newcomer would ask what is meant by the word economy, and then LCers would tell define it as "a stewardship". If that is how LCers would indeed define it, then why not use the word stewardship to begin with? Obviously, Lee's true intention in using a unique rendering was to given him the ability to define things as he saw fit. I find that the word economy has a less precise meaning when compared to stewardship. At face value, economy is claimed to mean the same thing as any other rendering. In practice, it takes on a particular meaning in the LC, unbeknownst to outsiders.
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:00 PM   #19
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Also apropos of nothing, really: it may well be that Lee's usage of "God's economy" wasn't his idea but was cribbed from the same 19th century sources that Vincent and Alford used, and which were often re-used by Lee with the barest of re-packaging.
I was looking at a parallel list of renderings for 1 Tim 1:4, and I noticed that both the ASV and Darby versions use the word dispensation. It's kind of interesting when you consider how much Lee was influenced by Darby. Dispensationalism is another subject all together, but it seems to me that such a 'lens' goes hand in hand with an underlying presumption of understanding everything that God is doing.

Some like Lee have sought to define various 'ages', starting points, ending points, key players, God's 'thought' during that age. It all sounds not much different than what Paul calls "endless genealogies". I'm not saying that there's anything inherently wrong with such a lens, but it all goes back to what is being presumed. If someone wants to presume that at a certain point in time, God was doing X as part of His plan, it may very well be a possibility, but the same token, the door should be left open to consider alternatives. More importantly, the whole point of what Paul was talking about is that such things are minor and it is questionable as to how much time/discussion they are deserving of.

If people want to obsess themselves with plotting events on timelines, or determining which person 'turned' each age, and so on, then they should realize that such an undertaking is a genealogy of sorts. Above anything else, it is a distraction from the more important things. Finally, to insist upon any extrapolated understanding or interpretation is perpetuating a 'myth', and that was exactly what Paul warned about.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:10 AM   #20
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If people want to obsess themselves with plotting events on timelines, or determining which person 'turned' each age, and so on, then they're undertaking is a genealogy of sorts. . . and to insist upon any extrapolated understanding or interpretation is perpetuating a 'myth', exactly what Paul warned about.
"Then out of the ignorance and darkness, God raised up the ministry of Watchman Nee" is a genealogy of sorts. . . then to buttress the idea that Nee was God's Seer of the Divine Revelation, and Deputy God on earth, one must concoct myths, or ecclesiastical versions of Rudyard Kipling's "Just So Stories". See, for example, There is One Apostle Per Age, which lasts until Witness Lee who's the final High Peak Oracle, etc. . .

My cultural reference is to "fantastic accounts of how various phenomena came about", per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_So_Stories
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:10 AM   #21
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God's economy simply means God wanting to dispense Himself into man, so that may might become god. What does "become god" mean? It means man might partake of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). In short, God became a man so that man might become god. In general Christian theology this is called divinization (deification, making divine, or theosis).
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:35 AM   #22
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God's economy simply means God wanting to dispense Himself into man, so that may might become god.
God speaks the word to humankind, which word is Spirit and life (even Jesus is called the Word), and this Spirit (which is God) operates in the human vessel to transform them into the same image. Okay, fine. Redemption, transformation, transfiguration; okay, fine.

So just masticate the processed and consummated Triune God and become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead, right? Fine, right?

But, God also speaks the word to angels, who are vectors of the divine will. And is God's speaking to angels a different word, or a different Spirit? I daresay no. Additionally, Angels are made in God's image (Rev 21:17; Gen 18:1,2); angels are also called "sons of God" (Psa 82:6 [cf Jo 10:34]; angels even appear in a kind of proto-trinitarian expression of glory - the glory of the Son and the Father and the holy angels (see e.g. Lu 9:26; Mark 8:38).

And angels obviously are never argued in orthodox Christianity as "god in life and nature but not in the godhead". For scriptural basis see Heb 1:4,5; see also the angel's response to John's awe at his glorious appearance - "Do not worship me; worship God" (Rev 19:10; 22:9). Angels are ministering spirits, not god either in or out of the Godhead.

It seems as if Lee was saying, "Based on this, and this, and this, we see 'x'." So I say, Fine, but based on this, and this, and this, we also do not see 'x'. So we're reduced to making a sort of special pleading, or case, simply because we prefer it to be so. That's the only 'simply' here. God's economy simply means 'x', because Lee simply preferred it to mean 'x'. Otherwise, it isn't so simple at all. As Jesus simply told the scribes, "Do you not know the scriptures?" That's what someone should have said to Lee. But nobody could say that, because, as we all know, he was Deputy God. Don't question Lee - even when he's wrong (which is often). Anyone who ever tried to point out the emperor's lack of apparel got ejected forthwith from the assembly.

What happens with Lee's teaching is that instead of humanity restored as a an agent or vector of the divine will, to obey and serve God, we're given a story of "Grace on steroids", in which we don't have to do anything but be filled with the Triune God, and then we become God in life and nature. Obedience - who can be obedient? All men have sinned. Etc. Righteousness - we don't care about right and wrong! We just care about life! Etc. It just becomes a case of swapping words around, and getting dazzled by or emotionally invested in our own sleight-of-hand tricks.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:49 AM   #23
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How is your argument any different to those who say of grace "let us do evil so that good may come"? To suggest as you do that to be filled with God (life and nature) implies disobedience, unrighteousness and not doing His will is not accurate. Lee never makes that assertion, and it goes against everything that "God in life and nature" means. But some may claim that of Lee's teachings as some may also claim that of the doctrine of grace (arminianism vs calvinism).

"we don't care about right and wrong" means we don't care about following the dead letter of the law. "we just care about life" means following the spirit of the law. The language is not precise and ANY Christian catchphrase is bound to be misinterpreted (such as "saved by faith alone"), but the meaning is obvious to anyone who knows the Bible. Again, this is Lee's Calvinism becoming evident.

Unlike the verses in Genesis about mankind, there is no explicit verse in the Bible describing angels as "made in God's image", particularly not in Rev 21:17. Of course all of God's creation must share some attributes or likeness of the Creator. But God places mankind in a special place above the rest of creation (Psalm 8:4). The reason for this is because mankind is created in God's image. God holds in high regard His creation which He created as a portrait of Himself.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:25 AM   #24
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Unlike the verses in Genesis about mankind, there is no explicit verse in the Bible describing angels as "made in God's image", particularly not in Rev 21:17. Of course all of God's creation must share some attributes or likeness of the Creator. But God places mankind in a special place above the rest of creation (Psalm 8:4). The reason for this is because mankind is created in God's image. God holds in high regard His creation which He created as a portrait of Himself.
There also is no explicit verse in the Bible describing man as becoming God in life and nature. And all the supporting material to buttress your preferred meaning, like being glorified, is also used elsewhere, yet there it's not supporting the idea of becoming God. So to say that the whole thing can be summed up 'simply' that God wants to do thus, to end up thus, is to grossly oversimplify the narrative. It never explicitly says what Lee says it all meant, and to support his meaning he had to do a rather crude cut-and-paste job with scripture. Ultimately, all that supports his "God's economy is simply this" is that he said it was so; it was a confidence game, and we got merchandised. How many books did he sell, saying "God's economy is simply this"? I can think of several. Thick, shiny, impressive-looking books.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:43 AM   #25
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I was looking at a parallel list of renderings for 1 Tim 1:4, and I noticed that both the ASV and Darby versions use the word dispensation. It's kind of interesting when you consider how much Lee was influenced by Darby. Dispensationalism is another subject all together, but it seems to me that such a 'lens' goes hand in hand with an underlying presumption of understanding everything that God is doing.
It reminds me of a physicist who sits at home with his 19th century books on physics. Does experiments, puts in long hours, arguably makes contributions to the field, but because he won't read anything published after 1922, he's horribly out of date. Yet he thinks his zeal and effort will cover for his disdain for any other scientist but himself. Sorry, doesn't work that way.

Relying solely on Darby or Wuest or the 1901 ASV for your meaning, and ignoring all other scholarship since, is like insisting to fly from New York to California in a Ford TriMotor because that was state-of-the-art in 1928.

http://www.century-of-flight.net/new...he%201930s.htm

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Old 08-30-2016, 09:13 AM   #26
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God's economy simply means God wanting to dispense Himself into man, so that may might become god.

What does "become god" mean? It means man might partake of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). In short, God became a man so that man might become god. In general Christian theology this is called divinization (deification, making divine, or theosis).
I don't see the connection between God's economy (oikonomia) and deification (theosis.) They are different concepts. Lee taught God's economy for a quarter century in the US before he took up the so-called "high peak" teachings of Athanasius and the Eastern Orthodox.

Economy refers to the administration in God's house to minister the riches of Christ to God's children. To this end the apostles were given a stewardship, which is the office of this administration to minister, shepherd, teach, preach the gospel, etc. for the household of God.

The Bible says that many wonderful things result from the stewardship: the farm grows, the house is builded up, and the members are edified, perfected, etc. The Bible never says that we become God, and it had ample opportunity to do so, but did not. Athanasius may have taught it, but his writings are not scripture. The Eastern Orthodox church may still hold on to it, but that no more authorizes the teaching than for the Mormons to teach it too.
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:20 PM   #27
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There also is no explicit verse in the Bible describing man as becoming God in life and nature. And all the supporting material to buttress your preferred meaning, like being glorified, is also used elsewhere, yet there it's not supporting the idea of becoming God. So to say that the whole thing can be summed up 'simply' that God wants to do thus, to end up thus, is to grossly oversimplify the narrative. It never explicitly says what Lee says it all meant, and to support his meaning he had to do a rather crude cut-and-paste job with scripture. Ultimately, all that supports his "God's economy is simply this" is that he said it was so; it was a confidence game, and we got merchandised. How many books did he sell, saying "God's economy is simply this"? I can think of several. Thick, shiny, impressive-looking books.
There is no surprises about Lee's manner of communication and style. Short, catch-phrase statements that are bound to be misinterpreted and misunderstood. What Lee actually means by "God's economy" is not unique to him. Probably it comes from Watchman Nee, or others. Actually I encountered this teaching first not with Lee but with various pentecostal churches I attended prior to attending the local church. So you could say I was familiar with it. Lee is not unique in having 'discovered' this revelation. Dig a little deeper and "man becoming God" is found in the writings of early church fathers and a form of this doctrine exists in mainstream denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, etc).

"God in life and nature" is Lee's attempt to precisely define what "become god" means. I understand his use of "God" here is not God the person but God the substance, as in His divinity. Another way to say this is that we do not become God as in His person, but we share His nature.

Many Christians would probably accept man "becomes like God", but I think Lee prefers "becoming God" to emphasise that the process by which man "becomes like God" is the termed "organic union" between man and God. "Becoming God" is another way to say "becoming divine".
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Old 08-30-2016, 03:36 PM   #28
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I don't see the connection between God's economy (oikonomia) and deification (theosis.) They are different concepts. Lee taught God's economy for a quarter century in the US before he took up the so-called "high peak" teachings of Athanasius and the Eastern Orthodox.

Economy refers to the administration in God's house to minister the riches of Christ to God's children. To this end the apostles were given a stewardship, which is the office of this administration to minister, shepherd, teach, preach the gospel, etc. for the household of God.

The Bible says that many wonderful things result from the stewardship: the farm grows, the house is builded up, and the members are edified, perfected, etc. The Bible never says that we become God, and it had ample opportunity to do so, but did not. Athanasius may have taught it, but his writings are not scripture. The Eastern Orthodox church may still hold on to it, but that no more authorizes the teaching than for the Mormons to teach it too.
The connection is there in Lee's definition of "God's economy". Probably not in the 'mainstream' definition as you describe. It is possible to have "God's economy" without theosis, as in a cup which is filled with water but the cup is not changed or affected by the water. Alternatively, "God's economy" and theosis, is like a (cardboard?) cup which not only holds the water but absorbs the water. Lee uses the symbolism of the mixture of "tea and water" in a cup of tea. Early church fathers used the concept of an metal and fire which to me is more accurate.

Important concepts such as "saved by faith alone", and the Trinity, are not "explained by the Bible", either. We could probably make a long list of concepts held in Christianity for which a clear Bible verse cannot be found.

To make very clear that Lee is not the originator of this doctrine, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (on the Vatican website) states:

The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":78 "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God."79 "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."80 "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."81

2 Peter 1:4 says we "partake of the divine nature". This is not about whether we receive the Holy Spirit or not, but about whether this Spirit changes us or not. If the Spirit changes us, then we are, in essence, "partaking of the divine nature". If we "partake of the divine nature", then we are, in essence, "becoming god", where "god" means His nature, not His person.

To use more biblical language. We could say that Christ is the vine and we are the branches. The branch must be the same substance as the vine, the branch not only part of the vine but is the vine.

Another way to say this is using the biblical terminology of 'sonship'. In some Protestant circles the idea of sonship is merely an adoptive status as a son of God, where God "considers" or "reckons" a person to be a son. But this does not consider the nature-changing effect of the inward dwelling of the Spirit. Historically as can be seen by the Catholic definition, the understanding of sonship in the church was believers being made sons in life and nature, or in other words, being made divine.

To some, to become "like Christ" means we will copy Him in word and deed, as in healing the sick, feeding the hungry, etc. The original meaning of becoming "like Christ" means to become a human being with both humanity and divinity. That is, to become like Christ in His person, not merely to outwardly copy His words and actions.
In fact, the outward words and deeds should be an expression of the inward change.

In the Bible "son of God" is the same as saying "God". If we say we are "sons of God" in essence we are saying "we are God". This was also the Jewish understanding in the time of Christ - for a Christian to even say they are a "son of God" is blasphemous (John 10:30-33). Probably we might say we are "sons of God" and that God is our "Father" without really understanding what it means - the divinization of humanity.
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Old 08-30-2016, 04:06 PM   #29
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Lee is not unique in having 'discovered' this revelation. Dig a little deeper and "man becoming God" is found in the writings of early church fathers and a form of this doctrine exists in mainstream denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, etc).

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Strange Bedfellows—W. Lee Appeals to the Roman Catholic Church
This hypocrisy is heightened when W. Lee, having denigrated the Roman Catholic Church for decades, appeals to their teaching as endorsement for his doctrine. He says, “the Catholic Church is also paying attention to this matter of deification. Not long ago a brother showed me that the Catechism of the Catholic Church,*recently published by the Roman*Catholic Church. [It] presents the following: ‘...Why Did the Word Become Flesh? The Word*became*flesh to make us “partakers of the divine*nature” (2 Pet. 1:4)...“For the Son of*God*became*man so that we might become God” (St.*Athanasius,*De inc.,*54, 3).*“The only-begotten Son of*God...assumed our*nature, so that he...might*make*men*gods”*(St. Thomas Aquinas,*Opusc. 57:1-4).” Witness Lee then comments, “Here we see that the Catholic Church teaches that the believers in Christ can*become*God...”172 LSM’s Local Church and the Roman Catholic Church make strange bedfellows; yet they both endorse a doctrine of deification. W. Lee consistently vilified the Roman Catholic Church as “apostate”, “satanic,” “religious Babylon,” and the “great prostitute.” Now he uses their teaching to support his doctrine, saying, “We see that the Catholic Church teaches that the believers in Christ can*become*God.” But what is the value of that endorsement—the endorsement of the “apostate, satanic, religious Babylon”? Isn’t it hypocritical, on the one hand to denounce Roman Catholicism and, on the other hand, to appeal to their teaching as an endorsement?
An argument for the validity of a teaching cannot be based upon what other groups believe. I do not buy such an argument for even a second.
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Old 08-30-2016, 04:07 PM   #30
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While stewardship may generally be the better understanding of the term for purposes of the scripture, there is something about the way that everything about the Christian and the church was distilled into that one term "God's stewardship" or "God's arrangement" that made those verses in 1 Timothy seem to be talking about everything as it would relate to the Christian — life, worship, prayer, etc. — and the workings of the church that makes "dispensing" or even "stewardship" kind of weak in explaining all it meant.

If I read Paul's words right, then everything that comes out of teachings to be obedient, righteous, meek, merciful, lovers of God, lovers of neighbor, in submission to one another (and a whole lot of other "one anothers"), and many more things is what constitutes "God's arrangement." It is not just "grace." Unless you define that so broadly as to be all-encompassing.

The right teachings set the whole of the Christian life in order. The wrong teaching create a lot of questions and rabbit trails (like angels on the heads of pins). There is no place for suggesting that there is a lack (need more dispensing). Peter dispensed with that idea (we have everything we need for . . . .)

God's economy is not so mysterious. It is the whole enchilada, so to speak. It is not "simply" anything. It is everything.

And when everything seems messed up, then that might be the sign that there is something wrong with the teachings.

And when it seems right (not necessarily splendid physically, but spiritually right) then it is probably the result of good teachings.

And a great morning watch over bad teachings is like sprinkling holy water on pig feces. You might be rescued a little from it all. But you have been focused on error. It just doesn't go anywhere good.
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Old 08-30-2016, 04:40 PM   #31
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An argument for the validity of a teaching cannot be based upon what other groups believe. I do not buy such an argument for even a second.
"other groups" are largely responsible for why we are Christians today and what we believe, yes even Catholicism. Yet it is not Catholicism per se from which the teaching about become gods comes, but the man Athanasius. He played a role in the formation of the New Testament canon, namely being the first to rightly identify the New Testament canon. In other words, the New Testament canon you hold dear today is in part due to the man who spoke about "man becoming god". "man becoming god" may not be explicitly found in scripture, but it is not heresy either.
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Old 08-30-2016, 05:12 PM   #32
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While stewardship may generally be the better understanding of the term for purposes of the scripture, there is something about the way that everything about the Christian and the church was distilled into that one term "God's stewardship" or "God's arrangement" that made those verses in 1 Timothy seem to be talking about everything as it would relate to the Christian — life, worship, prayer, etc. — and the workings of the church that makes "dispensing" or even "stewardship" kind of weak in explaining all it meant.

If I read Paul's words right, then everything that comes out of teachings to be obedient, righteous, meek, merciful, lovers of God, lovers of neighbor, in submission to one another (and a whole lot of other "one anothers"), and many more things is what constitutes "God's arrangement." It is not just "grace." Unless you define that so broadly as to be all-encompassing.

The right teachings set the whole of the Christian life in order. The wrong teaching create a lot of questions and rabbit trails (like angels on the heads of pins). There is no place for suggesting that there is a lack (need more dispensing). Peter dispensed with that idea (we have everything we need for . . . .)

God's economy is not so mysterious. It is the whole enchilada, so to speak. It is not "simply" anything. It is everything.

And when everything seems messed up, then that might be the sign that there is something wrong with the teachings.

And when it seems right (not necessarily splendid physically, but spiritually right) then it is probably the result of good teachings.

And a great morning watch over bad teachings is like sprinkling holy water on pig feces. You might be rescued a little from it all. But you have been focused on error. It just doesn't go anywhere good.
Decades ago people were still grasping the concept of a "personal relationship with God" as opposed to "doing things". That was an improvement over the works-based doctrines prevalent in Christianity. Lee, Nee and others, have further clarified this, that it is not merely a buddy friend "personal relationship" with God, as if God and His children were separated, but a so-called "organic union" between God and man. In a world where Christianity is mostly about outward things, God's economy brings us back to the inward things. It is fine and accurate to say we have a personal relationship with God, because we may pray to Him regularly and go to church. But if we have the same temper, or lust problem we had when we were first saved, what is the benefit? Only if God somehow changes us from the inside, can we be truly changed.

People generally understand that they have to put food and water into their bodies to grow, they have to feed their children, and they need to water and fertilize plants for them to grow and bear fruit. Can you teach a person or plant to grow? No you cannot. Teaching does not cause spiritual growth. However it may facilitate spiritual growth if it leads towards the source of (living) water, that is, Christ.

Dispensing is related to everything in the Christian life and without dispensing the Christian life is not genuine.

Is not the most important thing in the universe to be saved? (who wants to spend an eternity in hell?).
Are we not saved by being "born again" ?

So my question is - can we be "born again" without God's dispensing?

God's dispensing as I understand it, is simply filling an empty cup (human vessels) with water (the Holy Spirit).

An empty cup is not much use for anything. A cup is not designed to be empty (humans are not meant to be without God). A full cup is better than an empty cup (I just explained salvation, in a nutshell). Many billions of full cups is even better than a single cup (I just explained the universal church, in a nutshell). Then again billions of cups becoming a huge bucket of water is even better (I just explained the ONE universal church and genuine Christian unity, in a nutshell).

Dispensing is essentially the purpose and meaning of the human life. To say God's economy is "simply" dispensing is not to trivialise its importance, but to emphasise its simplicity. If we can understand how a cup is filled with water, then we can understand God's economy.
To understand its practical application is harder, but again, if we understand that biological systems do not grow by themselves or by teaching, but by feeding and watering (dispensing), then we can understand the practical side as well. The practical side is seen in the fruit of our spiritual growth.
Spiritual growth is simply the removal of things from us that are not God (negative things such as bad habits and sins), and the addition of things that are God (which is God Himself). If we can look back on our life and see a change in us over time, then we have observed the practical result of God's economy, namely, His dispensing. We may well call this being conformed to the image of the Son.

Spiritual growth is not, how many church services you attend, how much you pray or read the Bible, how good and pleasant you are outwardly (human ethics), it is everything to do with God's dispensing and the outward effects of that. Our giving, our service, our prayer, worship, how we treat other people, and how we react to circumstances, are all an outward effect of the inward change that the Holy Spirit has accomplished in us.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:17 PM   #33
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"other groups" are largely responsible for why we are Christians today and what we believe, yes even Catholicism.
Jesus is responsible for why I am a Christian.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:43 PM   #34
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Decades ago people were still grasping the concept of a "personal relationship with God" as opposed to "doing things"..
The blended brothers of LSM and the elders of the Local Churches are blinded to the reality that Christ has millions of lovers of Jesus and vital children in thousands of groups not controlled by LSM.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:59 PM   #35
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The blended brothers of LSM and the elders of the Local Churches are blinded to the reality that Christ has millions of lovers of Jesus and vital children in thousands of groups not controlled by LSM.
If these millions of lovers of Jesus love Him so much why are they in "thousands of groups"? They cannot even love each other let alone love Jesus.

John 17:21 - a true lover of Jesus seeks oneness and not division, because that's what Jesus wants.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:03 PM   #36
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If these millions of lovers of Jesus love Him so much why are they in "thousands of groups"? They cannot even love each other let alone love Jesus.

John 17:21 - a true lover of Jesus seeks oneness and not division, because that's what Jesus wants.
Silly Evangelical, the Lord Jesus does not see denominations, He sees His bride! Onily divisive blended brothers and elders see denominations.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:04 PM   #37
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2 Peter 1:4 says we "partake of the divine nature". This is not about whether we receive the Holy Spirit or not, but about whether this Spirit changes us or not. If the Spirit changes us, then we are, in essence, "partaking of the divine nature". If we "partake of the divine nature", then we are, in essence, "becoming god", where "god" means His nature, not His person.

Another way to say this is using the biblical terminology of 'sonship'. In some Protestant circles the idea of sonship is merely an adoptive status as a son of God, where God "considers" or "reckons" a person to be a son. But this does not consider the nature-changing effect of the inward dwelling of the Spirit. Historically as can be seen by the Catholic definition, the understanding of sonship in the church was believers being made sons in life and nature, or in other words, being made divine.

To some, to become "like Christ" means we will copy Him in word and deed, as in healing the sick, feeding the hungry, etc. The original meaning of becoming "like Christ" means to become a human being with both humanity and divinity. That is, to become like Christ in His person, not merely to outwardly copy His words and actions. In fact, the outward words and deeds should be an expression of the inward change.
I spent my best 30 years attending to the ministry of Witness Lee, believing that he lived what he ministered. Then I learned that there was an incredible "disconnect" in his life. I emphasized your words above highlighting your own convictions that what is preached must be practiced. I and others on this forum are saying they do not.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:07 PM   #38
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Jesus is responsible for why I am a Christian.
Amen to that!
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:10 PM   #39
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If these millions of lovers of Jesus love Him so much why are they in "thousands of groups"? They cannot even love each other let alone love Jesus.

John 17:21 - a true lover of Jesus seeks oneness and not division, because that's what Jesus wants.
Are you serious, Evangelical?

The Blended Brothers lived, worked, and served with scores of brothers over the years whom they later quarantined, slandered, and even sued.

They can't even love the brothers identical to them, let alone their enemies, as Jesus has instructed us. The Blendeds Brothers only love those who are in subjection to them.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:22 PM   #40
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Silly Evangelical, the Lord Jesus does not see denominations, He sees His bride! Onily divisive blended brothers and elders see denominations.
Jesus may overlook this, for the sake of the gospel and keeping the peace, but I believe it is still on His heart.

Jesus only built one church and prayed for unity, not division.

Everyone attending their own denomination and claiming they are "one" , in spirit, or whatever (but not in practice), is not genuine unity in my view. A step in the right direction but not at the goal.

The other way, the way that the Recovery took, is to separate from the divisions, and start a new unity. This works provided the new unity remains a unity and does not divide itself again.

There is a risk that the new unity become another division, it seems this is what has happened in practice, by holding to the teachings of Lee/Nee and not Christ. Well, this forum is evidence of that.
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:24 PM   #41
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Are you serious, Evangelical?

The Blended Brothers lived, worked, and served with scores of brothers over the years whom they later quarantined, slandered, and even sued.

They can't even love the brothers identical to them, let alone their enemies, as Jesus has instructed us.
I don't deny the hypocrisy, but take away the problem for a moment (Blended Brothers), and possibly the LSM etc. What is left is local churches, they have the Bible, the Spirit, and each other, and they probably are an OK representation of the unified Body of Christ.
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Old 08-31-2016, 03:57 AM   #42
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I don't deny the hypocrisy, but take away the problem for a moment (Blended Brothers), and possibly the LSM etc. What is left is local churches, they have the Bible, the Spirit, and each other, and they probably are an OK representation of the unified Body of Christ.
So Evangelical, you are willing to overlook the hypocrisy of the Blended Brothers and LSM, but not the hypocrisy of the rest of the body of Christ. Have you not become a "respecter of persons?"
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Old 08-31-2016, 04:08 AM   #43
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Jesus may overlook this, for the sake of the gospel and keeping the peace, but I believe it is still on His heart.

Jesus only built one church and prayed for unity, not division.

Everyone attending their own denomination and claiming they are "one" , in spirit, or whatever (but not in practice), is not genuine unity in my view. A step in the right direction but not at the goal.

The other way, the way that the Recovery took, is to separate from the divisions, and start a new unity. This works provided the new unity remains a unity and does not divide itself again.

There is a risk that the new unity become another division, it seems this is what has happened in practice, by holding to the teachings of Lee/Nee and not Christ. Well, this forum is evidence of that.
Have not the Blended Brothers also divided the Body of Christ in practice when they excommunicated the country of Brazil and the GLA, where I am from?

These divisions were formed because the Blended Brothers in practice held on to the teachings of Lee, and not Christ.

Based on not learning from history, I can guarantee that their new unity in the Recovery will one day be divided again.
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Old 08-31-2016, 06:37 AM   #44
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take away the problem for a moment
Evangelical,

I appreciate your coming to an arguably unfriendly sphere and trying to support the notion of "God's economy" as presented to us from scripture. But I really wonder if we can separate the problem from the teaching. That's like taking away the fruit from the tree, and pretending it was a different tree. But the fruit reveals the tree.

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What is left is local churches, they have the Bible, the Spirit, and each other, and they probably are an OK representation of the unified Body of Christ.
They also have teachings that need serious re-examination. So let's try again?

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God's economy simply means God wanting to dispense Himself into man, so that may might become god.
Let's look at the first part, the dispensing part. You have the cup filled with water analogy, or the glove filled with a hand analogy. Then you have the Holy Spirit operating within the redeemed human vessel. "No longer I but Christ". Fine and good.

But there's something crucial lacking with the 'simply dispensing' idea. God has a kingdom, and God uses agents. God dispenses so that we can be responsible stewards. Jesus was the progenitor. He was the Faithful Son. We the unfaithful saw the One True Son, the Obedient Lamb of God, and repented and turned back, and received eternal life. Now what? Dispensing? No - obedience. Dispensing is for sustained responsibility, attention, and obedience, not for mere 'enjoyment' and divinization.

Look how Jesus' closest follower, who observed Him day and night for 3+ years, described His life and ministry: "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him." Jesus went around doing good. He even told His disciples, that His food was to do the Father's will. He told them, be doers, not merely hearers of the word.

In contrast, the "God's economy" metric produced three behaviours: First was to go to meetings and sit in chairs and listen to messages. Second was to make noise: sing, pray, praise, call "Lord Jesus" and "Amen" and pray-read verses from the Bible, later to pray-read words of expository ministry. "Let's all stand up and declare Stanza Three together!" Third was to go out and recruit others to participate in the first two practices.

That's it. Very little outflow of life. No attention to Jesus' commands to spend yourself on those who couldn't repay you in this age. In fact we were actively discouraged by "the ministry" from wasting our time with those who couldn't advance the ministry's cause in the short term.

Jesus on the other hand would heal ten lepers (interestingly, by sending them to the priests[Lu 17:14], the very ones who later turned on Him), only one of whom came back to thank and praise God. The other nine - gone. But Jesus had healed all ten! And so forth: the Samaritan woman, cripples, drunks and orphans. One after another, Jesus brought the light of the kingdom into the darkest holes. By contrast, God's economy turns people into timid, emasculated, organisation-centric navel-gazers. Noisy navel-gazers, to be sure, but paralyzed, hyper-subjective, introspective, and self-absorbed. Trying to "make it". Trying to be filled. Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Now, as far as being 'made god', that's really above my pay grade, so I'll bow out. My only comment is that Athanasius isn't our source here; he was pre-dated by Origen by 150 years. Origen, if I remember rightly, thought that all would eventually be saved, including disobedient angels, and all would become God, including obedient angels. Everything and everyone becomes divine, eventually. Higher and higher, everyone goes, until all return home. Merged back into the Father, our source.

Which idea I'm not particularly fond of, as attractive as it seems. Anyway, listing Athanasius as your ideational source is probably incomplete, or even incorrect.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:26 AM   #45
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By contrast, God's economy turns people into timid, emasculated, organisation-centric navel-gazers. Noisy navel-gazers, to be sure, but paralyzed, hyper-subjective, introspective, and self-absorbed.
That's why Titus Chu used to call us "yellow-bellied-push-button-robots."

He blamed the problem on us, however, and never on the source in Anaheim.
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:00 AM   #46
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Evangelical,

I, too, appreciate your willingness to discuss the LC teachings with us in such a civil way. I'm not opposed to doing that, but sometimes with these kinds of things you can just go around and around because often we are discussing a teaching's theoretical fruit, rather than its actual fruit.

In other words, whenever you approach any teaching, you have to look around and honestly assess what the fruit of the teaching is. What does it, in the final analysis, really produce? This is what Jesus meant when he said, "By their fruits you shall know them."

So what's the fruit of the natural abilities teaching, or the local ground teaching, or the minister of the age teaching, or the 'don't be negative' teaching? Are these teachings producing good fruit, or are they producing something else?

It's not good enough that teachings sound good. The question is how have they stood the test of being implemented in practice. Do they hold up? And Lee's more proprietary teachings seem to produce more followers of Lee than followers of Christ. The teachings I mentioned above, and a lot more, seem to be geared to keep people in the LCM as much as anything else.

If you feel like you cannot leave the LCM for any reason, then you are not a follower of Christ, you are a follower of Lee. And that is not good fruit. If you feel like you cannot question Lee or must defend him at the cost of dividing yourself from the rest of the Body, then you are not a Christ follower, you are a Lee follower.

Real Christ followers can follow the Lamb wherever he goes, including right out of the LCM if he so leads them. If you don't believe that then the fact is you are more a Lee follower than a Christ follower.

Producing a group which is dismissive of all other Christian works other than the .001% performed by itself is NOT good fruit. It's bad fruit. It's the same old bad fruit that has been produced by umpteen other little enclaves in church history who thought they had to be special to be significant.

So we can discuss the theoretical correctness of teachings all day long. But until you really and honestly start assessing their fruit, it will lead nowhere.
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:35 PM   #47
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Decades ago people were still grasping the concept of a "personal relationship with God" as opposed to "doing things". That was an improvement over the works-based doctrines prevalent in Christianity. Lee, Nee and others, have further clarified this,..
A lot of popular theology phrased in Lee's way, plus some peculiar Leeology. I'm not going to respond point-by-point. That you want to call what ultimately happens "dispensing" is fine. But that was the thing that was declared to be the whole of God's economy.

And I say that is nonsense. It is entirely dismissive of all that God does in and through us.

While I do not entirely dismiss the "personal relationship with God" teachings, they are for the most part a creation of recent thinking. Maybe more like a new label on old theology. But it is so constantly wrapped in the activities of a fully-literate population doing things that only a very few could do much more than 200 or so years ago that I think the crux of what is called "personal relationship" is about doing a lot of personal reading. Reading that a large portion of the world couldn't (and somewhat still can't) do. Deep-dives into complex studies of the scripture.

Before that, the most that many had to consider for an entire week was what they could remember from their last sermon. And that might not even be entirely straight scripture. There was a reason for creeds. It was repetition of small amounts, not continuous wandering through endless analyses of scripture, that most people could even hope to deal with in their lives.

And we gripe about how poor those people and their ways were. Their poor reliance on doing what they learned from sermons and their liturgy.

So we throw it all off, dig deep into the scripture, and think it is all about high theology, yet don't even try to DO what is commanded. We argue about who we shouldn't count as being our neighbor so we don't have to love them. We belittle the works of the faithful as we are unfaithful because we have done the modern equivalent of pledging our parent's help to the temple so we don't have to support them.

All in the name of a personal relationship that has no practical application to today's living.
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:44 PM   #48
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That's why Titus Chu used to call us "yellow-bellied-push-button-robots."
That's like the abuser blaming the victim. "If you weren't such a pathetic loser, I wouldn't be forced to treat you this way." Gee, thanks hon, I love you, too.
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:20 PM   #49
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I, too, appreciate your willingness to discuss the LC teachings with us in such a civil way. I'm not opposed to doing that, but sometimes with these kinds of things you can just go around and around because often we are discussing a teaching's theoretical fruit, rather than its actual fruit...
Lee is an example, or "spiritual father" as per 1 Corinthians 11:1. We do not follow him.

How many people saved through Lee/Nee's ministry? That is the answer to your question about the fruit of the teachings.
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:50 PM   #50
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I appreciate your coming to an arguably unfriendly sphere and trying to support the notion of "God's economy" as presented to us from scripture. But I really wonder if we can separate the problem from the teaching. That's like taking away the fruit from the tree, and pretending it was a different tree. But the fruit reveals the tree...
The kingdom is God's dispensing as well. Just like water cannot "rule" a cup unless the water is in the cup. God cannot rule a person unless He dwells in their heart. Without God's dispensing there is no ruling (throne, kingdom). The kingdom is "simply" God's dispensing. The kingdom ruling produces obedience (in those who are willing and not actively resisting the Spirit).
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:54 AM   #51
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Have not the Blended Brothers also divided the Body of Christ in practice when they excommunicated the country of Brazil and the GLA, where I am from?
These divisions were formed because the Blended Brothers in practice held on to the teachings of Lee, and not Christ.
Based on not learning from history, I can guarantee that their new unity in the Recovery will one day be divided again.
Matt. 18:15-18 "And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer. 18 Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

In this verses, who is "the church"? If you can answer that, you have answered your own question about this.
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:02 AM   #52
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A lot of popular theology phrased in Lee's way, plus some peculiar Leeology. I'm not going to respond point-by-point. That you want to call what ultimately happens "dispensing" is fine. But that was the thing that was declared to be the whole of God's economy.
You seem to be implying that we, or the Reformers for that matter, should have been content with hearing and applying the unquestionable sermons of the Catholic Priest, rather than searching out matters for ourselves. Rather ironic, given the claims made here about Lee and his teachings.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:05 AM   #53
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The kingdom is God's dispensing as well. Just like water cannot "rule" a cup unless the water is in the cup. God cannot rule a person unless He dwells in their heart. Without God's dispensing there is no ruling (throne, kingdom). The kingdom is "simply" God's dispensing. The kingdom ruling produces obedience (in those who are willing and not actively resisting the Spirit).
I categorically disagree. Look at the scenes where they're dispensing right and left, with no obedience. So what of it?

You have the Master giving talents to the servants, some of whom do business and some don't. What is giving talents but dispensing?

You have Paul writing, "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." (1 Cor 4:2 NIV) There are faithful stewards and unfaithful stewards. Both get dispensing.

You have Jesus saying, "Don't be hearers only of the word, but doers". By contrast, the "God's economy" metric was sold such that we could just come in to the LC meeting, fall asleep in the back, and have the assurance that we left with "more God" than when we came in. I heard this. Of course it was spoken facetiously, to laughter, but the message was consistent: stay in the ministry and you'll get God dispensed into you. This kind of thinking breeds passivity and introspection.

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How many people saved through Lee/Nee's ministry? That is the answer to your question about the fruit of the teachings.
How many Christians became spineless jellyfish, afraid to function according to the Spirit's lead, because they might stand out as independent, or rebellious? How many Christians became program robots, afraid to think because that might be the natural man? Only the Oracle can think safely, right? The rest of us merely have concepts. Just say, "amen" to the Oracle. God's economy passes through the Ministry.

This is also the fruit of the teachings.

How many millions on the mainland PRC are under the hellish teachings of the Lee off-shoots? This, also, is "through Lee/Nee's ministry" as much as everything read into the Congressional Record. Lee claimed several tens of millions of shouters (and yes that's a name, and he said it approvingly) in China; then it imploded into cults worshiping people as deity incarnate (including Lee as Lord Changshou, among others), and who kidnap, brutalize, extort and brainwash. That's also the fruit.

We shouldn't be selective in our judgment of what is fruit. We should examine everything.

Ignorance and zeal is a dangerous combination. Lee would sell us some oversimplified mash, "The Kingdom of God is just 'x'" and we all thought, "Gee, this is great! Somebody did all the hard work for us. Just stand two by two and declare the Catchphrase of the Day, complete with fist pump, and sit down and you now have 'more God'". Patent nonsense. Sorry to be so disagreeable but I just don't see it. It's a dangerous oversimplification. Yes it's convenient; far too convenient, I'm afraid.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:28 AM   #54
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Lee is an example, or "spiritual father" as per 1 Corinthians 11:1. We do not follow him.
Okay, if you did follow him, how would that look different than what you are doing now?


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How many people saved through Lee/Nee's ministry? That is the answer to your question about the fruit of the teachings.
Well, by that measure hardly anyone has been saved through the LCM since Lee came to the US. Certainly not in the last 30 years.

Beside, fruit is much more than getting people saved. Fruit is the net result of all our Christian efforts. So your answer was a bit of a dodge.
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:54 AM   #55
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Matt. 18:15-18 "And if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-gatherer. 18 Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

In this verses, who is "the church"? If you can answer that, you have answered your own question about this.
That's your response?

Sounds like the Riddler, "riddle me this Batman ..."
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:20 AM   #56
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That's your response?

Sounds like the Riddler, "riddle me this Batman ..."
It is like the Riddler, who was too smart by half. By the time he simplified all the variables down, he'd put himself in a box of his own creation.

Nee was so smart that he could read all the books worth reading, extract the good from each one, and simplify everything down to an easy-to-digest formula for the masses. Nee was too smart by half. Here, "tell it to the church" becomes the entry-point into Nee's normal Christian life. You have a line of text turned into a systematic formula which now becomes an ideational lock-box.

The church, here, can be the larger Christian audience; it can even be the Gentiles, for that matter. It means tell it in public. Tell it from the housetops. No more private covering. Look at the 'ekklesia' dismissed by the Ephesian city clerk in Acts 19:41. Full of Gentiles. Remember Jesus taught of "My church"; there was also a church which was not of Jesus. It meant gathering, assembly, convention of persons for some purpose, religious including but not exclusively Christian. Only with the passage of much time did it become exclusively associated with Christian assembly(s).

Instead with Nee we got an ontological entity which was defined as thus-and-such, and importantly, as NOT thus-and-such, and once you agreed with Nee's asssertion he then had a hook to manipulate you. The basis of Nee's church was that it was NOT the running dogs of the West, the Denominations. Of course resentment against foreign incursion and domination was high, and rightly so. The angry masses were waiting for a hero, waiting to throw off the imperialist yoke. Nee couldn't say, "Out with the foreign devils" because that was unchristian. So he said, "Out with denominations" - the Brethren of UK gave him the fixed point, or fulcrum, to lever the flock into his indigenous, local (and 'local' was by definition Chinese) pen.

Once he had his flock, and his boogeyman, he was off to the races. Suddenly he discovered the Jerusalem Principle - no more local autonomous church! (Lee used this trick 40 years later when he 'recovered the Body'). Nee then 'recovered' Handing Over, Getting in Line, Deputy God and so forth. Nee could pull the flock wherever he wanted; didn't matter if Early Nee contradicted Later Nee, if it contradicted the word of the Bible, if it contradicted what Nee lived out, or if it contradicted common sense and human conscience.

Nope - follow the Seer of the Divine Revelation, or the Boogeyman (who you assented to, either passively or overtly) might get you. Don't want to be like Christianity, do you? Okay, hand it over. Get in line.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:02 AM   #57
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Evangelical,

Having a heart for oneness is fine. But saying that oneness needs to be realized by the model you prefer is something much different. Insisting on your model and calling everyone divisive who doesn't conform to it is itself divisive.

Jesus prayed for oneness, yes. But he never said use oneness as a general point of division. That's what the LCM does. They insist their model of realizing oneness is the best one, they expect everyone else to conform to it, and they write off everyone who doesn't. That, when you step back and look at it, is nutty. It's the worst kind of division.

In the first place, you can not know for sure that your model of practical oneness is the correct one or even the best one available. I know, I know, Lee sold it to you. But the fact is anything we cannot be sure of that we insist upon is unreasonable and thus divisive. The fact is the Lord didn't give us a outline for the model of how church should be realized. I believe he did this on purpose because if he had then all of church history would have been an even worse battle over who is doing it more correctly and who is the "real church."

Secondly, all you have to do is look at church history and at LCM history to realize (1) claiming to be a special part of the Church as a whole is a prescription for disaster and (2) the LCM has divided over and over itself! Basically the oneness of the LCM faction loyal to LSM is Lee, not Christ. You can claim it is Christ up one side and down the other. But the only people you are fooling is yourselves. Everyone else sees what you are.

In the end you are going to have to learn to think outside the LCM box. If you continue to just repeat, without thinking, the stuff they've fed you, and not do any research or thinking yourself then, my friend, you are wasting your time here. The people who post here are smart and they can think for themselves. Just repeating Lee-isms isn't going to cut it. Your theology and view of history need to make sense from top to bottom. And they don't. And if you'd really think about it you'd have to admit they don't. That's what you are missing.

I'm all for oneness. But your oneness is the oneness of unity around Lee, not Christ. If it was Christ you wouldn't be expecting everyone else to see things your way. You'd simply be practicing your Christian lives as best you can and respecting others who do so as well, knowing that you can never be sure that you have things exactly right, because the Lord hasn't, and probably won't, give any of us that knowledge.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:20 AM   #58
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The real test of oneness is not how you treat those who agree with you, who are inside your little band; the real test is how you treat those who don't agree with you, who are outside your band.
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:40 AM   #59
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The church, here, can be the larger Christian audience; it can even be the Gentiles, for that matter. It means tell it in public. Tell it from the housetops. No more private covering. Look at the 'ekklesia' dismissed by the Ephesian city clerk in Acts 19:41. Full of Gentiles. Remember Jesus taught of "My church"; there was also a church which was not of Jesus. It meant gathering, assembly, convention of persons for some purpose, religious including but not exclusively Christian. Only with the passage of much time did it become exclusively associated with Christian assembly(s).
I agree with this. If your brother won't hear you, get another brother, and then eventually "go public." How "public" depends on the offense. If you both meet together, then go to the elders. If you don't meet together, then find some elder brothers, or perhaps sisters.

In the Recovery system, locality is basically a farce. In Nee's early ministry, he claimed that the highest church government was the local elders. In Nee's later ministry, however, he found the "Jerusalem principle" was more advantageous, where those at headquarters (under his direction, of course) could and regularly did overrule local decisions. Lee followed the same course of action in Taiwan. Then he came to America, and repeated what he had been trained to do. Eventually all the elders who do remain learn to make no decisions on their own, fearing the horrible "independent" label, and thus becoming almost useless to the great Shepherd of the flock.

So what does it mean to "tell it to the church" in the recovery system today? It simply means to "tell it to the Blendeds" in Anaheim. This regularly occurred in the leadership under Lee, well back to the '70's. Lee used to operate under what I call the "the law of first complaint," in other words, Lee would believe the dirt he heard without any further investigation. Why? Because it was useful to him. Titus Chu often complained about this, but unfortunately he operated the same way in the GLA. If LC leaders really believed in "local" churches, then they would never get involved in LC matters. It was never any of their business.

The unfortunate side effect of this non-Biblical management style was the endless suspicions and spying on one another, especially among the leaders. Why "go to your brother" personally, when you can "tell it to the church" by going directly to the Maximum Leader himself, scoring a few personal brownie points, embellishing the mud-slinging, and hoping that your rival "gets it" during the next get together. During many times in our history, "sleeper cells" arose, acting promptly on coded words from the podium, and fueling the rumor mill with fresh dirt.

If Evangelical really cared for Matthew 18.15-18, he would listen to what we are saying, examine what really has happened in the Recovery in the light scripture, and "consider his ways."
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:32 PM   #60
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In the first place, you can not know for sure that your model of practical oneness is the correct one or even the best one available. I know, I know, Lee sold it to you. But the fact is anything we cannot be sure of that we insist upon is unreasonable and thus divisive. . . In the end you are going to have to learn to think outside the LCM box. If you continue to just repeat, without thinking, the stuff they've fed you, and not do any research or thinking yourself then, my friend, you are wasting your time here. .
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If Evangelical really cared for Matthew 18.15-18, he would listen to what we are saying, examine what really has happened in the Recovery in the light scripture, and "consider his ways."
We have to give Evangelical credit: s/he has admitted that some things of the LC system were/are flawed, and appears to be willing to examine them critically, and see them objectively. Tilting toward objectivity, and considering others' viewpoints as valid, is essentially verboten in the LC.

Also s/he has cited Frank Viola who is a "local church" witness not of the LSM type, and therefore is not an LC "exclusive" (so I surmise).

And s/he also is coming here and posting on a board with essentially no allies and many who are willing to poke a sharp (metaphorical) stick into his/her ideas.

So let's not be judgmental and closed-minded. I know, maybe coming from me that's a hoot. But it needs to be said. Let's bend over backward to see if there's an argument worth defending.

Actually, on that point, there probably is an argument. A case to be made. A small case. But that case isn't reality. There are also other arguments, other views, other cases. That's why we have discussions: everyone learns. None of us are God, here. Evangelical is showing signs of thinking independently. Don't assume s/he is a program parrott.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:53 PM   #61
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Evangelical is showing signs of thinking independently. Don't assume s/he is a program parrott.
Thanks for the reminder. Sorry if I came on too strong.
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Old 09-01-2016, 05:47 PM   #62
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You seem to be implying that we, or the Reformers for that matter, should have been content with hearing and applying the unquestionable sermons of the Catholic Priest, rather than searching out matters for ourselves. Rather ironic, given the claims made here about Lee and his teachings.
I do not deny that we should use the good (and now well-trained) minds that God gave us.

But the purpose of it all was not to be spiritual and go to the New Jerusalem. Yes, that is the final stage as described in Revelation. But is that really the goal? Some land of walls and cubits and gates and leaves, etc.? Or is it that the description of the return of the redeemed to the place as God's image bearers relative to the "nations" that continue to exist to the end? We read through a few chapters of a clearly metaphorical description of the spiritual war that goes on behind the daily battle of life that we face and then fail to realize that the ending is no less a metaphor.

We disdain those that speak of "going to heaven" then pine away for a different version of it. What it is difference?

But when I read the accounts of what Jesus said to the people (not just to the 12, or even the 70 or other number that were in training to be the leaders). I see talk about living righteously, even hungering and thirsting for it. I see the primary command for our lives being encapsulated in a single word. And the word is not "church," "saints," "economy," "dispensing," or any of the other things that so captured out minds in the LCM (and in many other places as well). The word was (and still is) "love." Love God and love neighbor as self. Try to read the gospels without the overlays of spirituality. Of everyone being an evangelist. Or a disciple (in the sense of the 12). What did Jesus teach the people?

And when we then go to read Paul, why do we think that he is given authority to dismiss what Jesus said? We would never admit to that. But we do it all the time when we presume that the Christian life is about seeking to be crucified with Christ. Or so many other "spiritual" things. But Paul didn't say to be crucified with Christ. He said because we are we should live differently. We should think on our fellow Christians differently that just what they are in natural terms (slave, slave owner, Roman, Jew, etc.)

You despise the sermon of the Catholic priest. And presume that I am suggesting we should still just be Catholic (or EO). But look at the actual sermons for the people. They were not about "the intrinsic processing of Christ as the Spirit for the revealing of the seven-fold intensified Spirit that now lives in our spirit." Or any other strictly "spiritual" nonsense that has no application to my drive home on 121 this evening. If you despise the sermons of the average Catholic priest, then you hate the ones Jesus gave to the people sitting on the side of a mountain. He didn't tell them some fancy constitution. He gave simple instructions in the ways of living righteously. He healed people and sent them home to live differently.

We have it all wrong. We were created to represent God as his image bearers but think that salvation is for the purpose of getting out of Dodge and to heaven or the New J. Not to bear His image in a dark, perverse world, but to escape to a meeting where we can be invigorated to tolerate the fallen world.

And I will return to the use of our good minds. John warned that there were some that had been among us who went out and were now a problem. But we know better than to be captured by their nonsensical teachings.

Returning to the use of our minds. It is through the mind that we realize what we are called to do. What is the right was to live. We read. Or we listen. And we respond. You want it to be an effort in significant thought to conclude what is to be done. But it is really quite simple. We hear the word. It commands and directs our living. Those who say that we should not do things because of a command are ducking from their unwillingness to obey. But it is not so hard to know what to do. And even the simple obedience arising from faith can do this. From those who hear those "poor" sermons and realize it is something they should do.

Do you think that if they do what they are told that they are somehow not "in the vine"? If so, please explain how you think that is true. I will muddy the waters by noting that what they are told to do is from the scripture. It is not contrary to the teachings of Christ, but is fully in keeping with it. What could possibly make them not "in the vine"?
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:01 PM   #63
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Evangelical is showing signs of thinking independently. Don't assume s/he is a program parrot.
The Bible is very balanced when we read it on our own. Once we read someone's books, however, we automatically become skewed in the writer's direction. That might not be a bad thing, but if that's all we have, then we really are not connected to the "pure word" of God.

Yes, the Bible does tell us that we are members one of another, and part of the body of Christ, and what we do affects other members, but the Bible also instructs us in many places to personally "test all things, hold on to the good" (I Ths 5.21), "prove by testing what the will of God is" (Rom. 12.2), and "prove what is well-pleasing to God." (Eph. 5.10) With much practice, we each will then have our "faculties exercised in order to healthily discriminate the good from the worthless."

We should never consider this personal practice to be "independent" thinking. Rather it is the kind of thinking that helps us by the Spirit to renew our minds and to work out our own salvation.
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:35 PM   #64
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I categorically disagree. Look at the scenes where they're dispensing right and left, with no obedience. So what of it?

You have the Master giving talents to the servants, some of whom do business and some don't. What is giving talents but dispensing?

You have Paul writing, "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful." (1 Cor 4:2 NIV) There are faithful stewards and unfaithful stewards. Both get dispensing.

You have Jesus saying, "Don't be hearers only of the word, but doers". By contrast, the "God's economy" metric was sold such that we could just come in to the LC meeting, fall asleep in the back, and have the assurance that we left with "more God" than when we came in. I heard this. Of course it was spoken facetiously, to laughter, but the message was consistent: stay in the ministry and you'll get God dispensed into you. This kind of thinking breeds passivity and introspection.
Frequently, in the LR people are admonished to pray, prophesy, exercise their Spirit, call on the Lord.
If anything there is "peer pressure" to participate than fall asleep!
So I know that what you say here is just your own imagination and not the truth.

It is well known and taught that without exercising the spirit there is no spiritual growth. Contrast that with the denominations where only one man, pastor or priest, does all the speaking, and the congregation stays silent.
To believe, pray and read the Word, admonish others, prophesy is also obedience.
But we may compare the practical side as well.
If there is "no obedience" as you claim, who has distributed tens of thousands of Bibles in Europe and other places?
Why are there many university students coming to the Bible studies on campus?
Why are new churches being planted and why are new people being baptized?
These folk are more active than I've seen in any local denomination and your average "pew sitter".
In fact I believe that when compared side by side, an average local church is "doing" much more than an average local denominational church.
And what it is doing is probably more in line with God's command to preach the Word and spread the gospel, than your average denominational church which is running the "Sunday raffle" to raise money.



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How many Christians became spineless jellyfish, afraid to function according to the Spirit's lead, because they might stand out as independent, or rebellious? How many Christians became program robots, afraid to think because that might be the natural man? Only the Oracle can think safely, right? The rest of us merely have concepts. Just say, "amen" to the Oracle. God's economy passes through the Ministry.

This is also the fruit of the teachings.

How many millions on the mainland PRC are under the hellish teachings of the Lee off-shoots? This, also, is "through Lee/Nee's ministry" as much as everything read into the Congressional Record. Lee claimed several tens of millions of shouters (and yes that's a name, and he said it approvingly) in China; then it imploded into cults worshiping people as deity incarnate (including Lee as Lord Changshou, among others), and who kidnap, brutalize, extort and brainwash. That's also the fruit.

We shouldn't be selective in our judgment of what is fruit. We should examine everything.

Ignorance and zeal is a dangerous combination. Lee would sell us some oversimplified mash, "The Kingdom of God is just 'x'" and we all thought, "Gee, this is great! Somebody did all the hard work for us. Just stand two by two and declare the Catchphrase of the Day, complete with fist pump, and sit down and you now have 'more God'". Patent nonsense. Sorry to be so disagreeable but I just don't see it. It's a dangerous oversimplification. Yes it's convenient; far too convenient, I'm afraid.
Your argument is flawed because one could easily say that Roman Catholicism and so many other heretical teachings and groups that came from the New Testament period and are based on the Bible, is evidence that the New Testament and the Bible produces bad fruit!
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:49 PM   #65
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Okay, if you did follow him, how would that look different than what you are doing now?




Well, by that measure hardly anyone has been saved through the LCM since Lee came to the US. Certainly not in the last 30 years.

Beside, fruit is much more than getting people saved. Fruit is the net result of all our Christian efforts. So your answer was a bit of a dodge.
Following Lee in the sense of replacing "following Christ", would include praying to him, worshiping him, and singing songs about him. I have never seen that.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:07 PM   #66
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Following Lee in the sense of replacing "following Christ", would include praying to him, worshiping him, and singing songs about him.
Not at all. All you have to do is obey Lee instead of obeying Christ and you are a Lee follower instead of a Christ follower. I never said Lee worshiper, though I'm sure some have done that as well. But there are thousands of LCMers who put obeying Lee above obeying Christ. They would never admit it, but that's what they do.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:28 PM   #67
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I do not deny that we should use the good (and now well-trained) minds that God gave us.

But the purpose of it all was not to be spiritual and go to the New Jerusalem. Yes, that is the final stage as described in Revelation. But is that really the goal? Some land of walls and cubits and gates and leaves, etc.? Or is it that the description of the return of the redeemed to the place as God's image bearers relative to the "nations" that continue to exist to the end? We read through a few chapters of a clearly metaphorical description of the spiritual war that goes on behind the daily battle of life that we face and then fail to realize that the ending is no less a metaphor.
The LR believe in a metaphorical, physically-spiritual New Jerusalem, not a material one.

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We disdain those that speak of "going to heaven" then pine away for a different version of it. What it is difference?

But when I read the accounts of what Jesus said to the people (not just to the 12, or even the 70 or other number that were in training to be the leaders). I see talk about living righteously, even hungering and thirsting for it. I see the primary command for our lives being encapsulated in a single word. And the word is not "church," "saints," "economy," "dispensing," or any of the other things that so captured out minds in the LCM (and in many other places as well). The word was (and still is) "love." Love God and love neighbor as self. Try to read the gospels without the overlays of spirituality. Of everyone being an evangelist. Or a disciple (in the sense of the 12). What did Jesus teach the people?

And when we then go to read Paul, why do we think that he is given authority to dismiss what Jesus said? We would never admit to that. But we do it all the time when we presume that the Christian life is about seeking to be crucified with Christ. Or so many other "spiritual" things. But Paul didn't say to be crucified with Christ. He said because we are we should live differently. We should think on our fellow Christians differently that just what they are in natural terms (slave, slave owner, Roman, Jew, etc.)
The New Jerusalem is not a "different version of heaven". According to Revelation 21:2 New Jerusalem is not heaven because the Bible says it comes down from heaven. It is heavenly (in nature), but it is not heaven.

How are we going to do what Jesus said and be the person He want us to be?
How are we going to live righteously?
How are we going to heal people?
How are we going to put the sermons into practice?

We need the dispensing of the Holy Spirit for that. An engine doesn't run by itself without the right fuel inside of it, powering it.

The gospels by themselves is not the whole picture. We have Paul's writings that teach us about life in the Spirit so we can do and be everything we are supposed to do and be.

Paul (not Jesus) said this:

Galatians 3:3 says "Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?"

Jesus told us what we have to be and do, but Paul told us how to do it.

This is why we need the teachings of God's economy etc which focus on the Spirit.

Contrast that with the denominations who talk about God, Father, Jesus, with barely any mention of the Spirit.

Witness Lee and Nee for the most part is just expounding Paul's ministry.

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You despise the sermon of the Catholic priest. And presume that I am suggesting we should still just be Catholic (or EO). But look at the actual sermons for the people. They were not about "the intrinsic processing of Christ as the Spirit for the revealing of the seven-fold intensified Spirit that now lives in our spirit." Or any other strictly "spiritual" nonsense that has no application to my drive home on 121 this evening. If you despise the sermons of the average Catholic priest, then you hate the ones Jesus gave to the people sitting on the side of a mountain. He didn't tell them some fancy constitution. He gave simple instructions in the ways of living righteously. He healed people and sent them home to live differently.

We have it all wrong. We were created to represent God as his image bearers but think that salvation is for the purpose of getting out of Dodge and to heaven or the New J. Not to bear His image in a dark, perverse world, but to escape to a meeting where we can be invigorated to tolerate the fallen world.

And I will return to the use of our good minds. John warned that there were some that had been among us who went out and were now a problem. But we know better than to be captured by their nonsensical teachings.

Returning to the use of our minds. It is through the mind that we realize what we are called to do. What is the right was to live. We read. Or we listen. And we respond. You want it to be an effort in significant thought to conclude what is to be done. But it is really quite simple. We hear the word. It commands and directs our living. Those who say that we should not do things because of a command are ducking from their unwillingness to obey. But it is not so hard to know what to do. And even the simple obedience arising from faith can do this. From those who hear those "poor" sermons and realize it is something they should do.

Do you think that if they do what they are told that they are somehow not "in the vine"? If so, please explain how you think that is true. I will muddy the waters by noting that what they are told to do is from the scripture. It is not contrary to the teachings of Christ, but is fully in keeping with it. What could possibly make them not "in the vine"?
To "bear God's image" we need God to live in us and shine forth out of us.This is what the teachings of God's economy, if applied, are meant to accomplish.
Otherwise we are just copycats, with the outward form but not the inward reality.

Practical righteousness is the goal or outcome of the church, saints, God's economy, dispensing. The way of God's economy ensures that it is of Him and not of ourselves. Without these things, we could not fulfill Galatians 3:3.

The average Catholic priest and protestant preachers do not focus upon the Spirit. Many, do not even focus upon Jesus. That is what I know as a fact from my time in the denominations.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:46 PM   #68
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Not at all. All you have to do is obey Lee instead of obeying Christ and you are a Lee follower instead of a Christ follower. I never said Lee worshiper, though I'm sure some have done that as well. But there are thousands of LCMers who put obeying Lee above obeying Christ. They would never admit it, but that's what they do.
I cannot think of one instance where I have "obeyed Lee" given that:
a) Lee has passed on
b) He is not my local church leader
c) I never had the opportunity to meet him
d) I was never instructed to "obey Lee".

Therefore, I am not a Lee follower.

Is it fully scriptural to obey church leaders.

Now if you would claim that I am a "Lee follower" because most of the books on my shelf have his name on it, or because I use the Recovery Version,
then I would have to call you a follower of King James or Zondervan for using their versions of the Bible.
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:57 PM   #69
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The Bible is very balanced when we read it on our own. Once we read someone's books, however, we automatically become skewed in the writer's direction.
I know the premise - lock ourselves away with just the Bible and the Holy Spirit makes us an expert theologian. If we happen to have some wafers and juice we can break bread with ourselves as well. Then we can "publish" our expert theology by writing down our thoughts and musings in a personal journal. There is no need to meet with anyone else or read anyone else's writings because we can be confident that we have not been "skewed in anyone's direction". But we are fooling ourselves, because when we read the Bible on our own, we automatically can become skewed in our OWN direction.
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:36 PM   #70
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If I were to ask you, "I want to meet Jesus, where is Jesus", you could probably tell me, even though you never met Him in the flesh. If I was to ask you about how we are saved, you could probably tell me something about the cross 2000 years ago, even though you were not there.

But if I ask someone here on this forum what is "the church?", and more importantly where is "the church" today? You cannot tell me.

If I want to tell my problems to "the church" according to Matthew 18:17, where do I find it?

I do not want to tell it to "a church", I want it to be "the church".

For any of the bible verses about "the church" to be realized today, there must be some practical and visible expression of New Testament Christianity.
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:38 PM   #71
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Nice summary, and findings. I wanted to comment on one point. To me, the key to understand scripture is not to study Paul in isolation, but to approach Paul through Jesus. Jesus was the Master, Paul the disciple.

Thus, 'oikonomia' as translated 'stewardship', with the associated meanings of continual obedience to a charge or responsibility (in this case distribution of household goods and management of those affairs) should color any reading of Paul's ideas of 'economy' or 'dispensing arrangements' [. . .''of the Processed and Consummated Triune God'']. For example, see Jesus' parable on the "unrighteous steward" in Luke 16, where Jesus uses this specific word (vv. 2,3)
Aron, I agree with looking at the gospels and other Bible books for insight into the meaning of oikonomia. One of the reasons I prefer the stewardship rendering and definition is how the Greek word oikonomos is used in Luke 16 and other places for a steward. Doing a word search on oikonomia and oikonomos is easy in Blue Letter Bible (if one wants to check this out).
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Old 09-01-2016, 09:49 PM   #72
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Evangelical, Having a heart for oneness is fine. But saying that oneness needs to be realized by the model you prefer is something much different. Insisting on your model and calling everyone divisive who doesn't conform to it is itself divisive....
I make no apologies. If you want local church members to post here then expect local church answers.

It's not the model "I prefer". It's the model revealed in the Bible. Time and time again when the local church is mentioned it is by the locality (the city name etc). You cannot find a denominational or a hierarchical structured model anywhere in the Bible. I do the right thing and request others to present to me these "different models" and no one can show me.

Please listen to yourself. Trying to argue that such an important matter as the church is not something Jesus revealed to us.

Even the Roman Catholics can tell me what the church is and where it is, better than you all can. They can point to it and say "here it is".

And many of you supposedly spent time in the "local churches" under Lee's ministry.

I think not, you would have a better understanding of these things, or it seems you were all "sleeping at the back" as one other poster put it.

Or you are merely recounting negative experiences that happened decades ago in the 70's and 80's. Things seem to have moved on, the LR has moved on. Welcome to the 21st Century.

The things done in the name of Christianity by the denominations has far exceeded any negative thing that the LR has ever done as far as I see it. Inquisitions, murders, etc.

Yet you are all defending them as if they are the exemplar of what church is all about.

Hopefully my post has demonstrated enough "independent thought" for my little brainwashed mind .
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Old 09-02-2016, 02:31 AM   #73
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The real test of oneness is not how you treat those who agree with you, who are inside your little band; the real test is how you treat those who don't agree with you, who are outside your band.
How does Jesus treat those who don't agree with Him? That's all we really have to be worried about.
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:10 AM   #74
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I know the premise - lock ourselves away with just the Bible and the Holy Spirit makes us an expert theologian. If we happen to have some wafers and juice we can break bread with ourselves as well. Then we can "publish" our expert theology by writing down our thoughts and musings in a personal journal. There is no need to meet with anyone else or read anyone else's writings because we can be confident that we have not been "skewed in anyone's direction". But we are fooling ourselves, because when we read the Bible on our own, we automatically can become skewed in our OWN direction.
Evangelical your reaction is so extreme! Is reading the Bible by itself really that dangerous? Did you not find any merit in my post?

Can you see any difficulties within the LC's, when every one reads their Bible (actually the HWfMR) thru the eyes of Lee and his Blendeds?
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:23 AM   #75
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For any of the bible verses about "the church" to be realized today, there must be some practical and visible expression of New Testament Christianity.
How about, "Wherever two or three of you are gathered in My name, there I will be in your midst"? You have gathering, you have the name of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit revealing Jesus to the attendees, who He was, and what He represents for us, and for God (see Jesus' teachings in John 14-16), you have the presence of Jesus in your midst.

But you say, "No, sorry, that's not the church."

Um, sorry, but I'll take Jesus over your hypothetical church any day of the week. Jesus met the disciples outside the box, over and over again. But you think you've created the foolproof box?
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:27 AM   #76
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Now if you would claim that I am a "Lee follower" because most of the books on my shelf have his name on it, or because I use the Recovery Version, then I would have to call you a follower of King James or Zondervan for using their versions of the Bible.
Bad analogy. No real publisher requires its readers to focus exclusively on its content. If you go in a bookstore, and there are 200 titles by one man, or to someone's house, and see 40+ titles, at best you are dealing with an unbalanced sect. A fair assessment would be 'personality cult'. A less forgiving assessment would be 'cult'.
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:38 AM   #77
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Or you are merely recounting negative experiences that happened decades ago in the 70's and 80's. Things seem to have moved on, the LR has moved on. Welcome to the 21st Century.

The things done in the name of Christianity by the denominations has far exceeded any negative thing that the LR has ever done as far as I see it. Inquisitions, murders, etc.

Yet you are all defending them as if they are the exemplar of what church is all about.

Hopefully my post has demonstrated enough "independent thought" for my little brainwashed mind .
Evangelical, it seems your memory of LC history has forgotten the recent events of the 21st century. In case you forgot, I am from Ohio where we had quarantines, lawsuits, backstabbings, hypocrisies, etc. so I'll let the Apostle Paul say it better for me,
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"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith."
We in the GLA watched all this happen as LSM sent their operatives into city after city. Please read the above quote once again. LSM fulfilled this prophecy by Paul in my area less than ten years ago. Sorry if you missed out on all the fun. Perhaps you were too far away to get the "local" news, or perhaps you got all your news from station WLSM. And please tell me again about that church with no name going to court for the rights to a church name that is not really a church name?

After what LSM and their fine DCP people put us thru, every other local congregation (what you love to deride as denominations) seemed more than holy, godly, and spiritual.
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:44 AM   #78
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Or you are merely recounting negative experiences that happened decades ago in the 70's and 80's. Things seem to have moved on, the LR has moved on. Welcome to the 21st Century.
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We in the GLA watched all this happen as LSM sent their operatives into city after city. .
Yes, indeed, welcome to the 21st Century LR. Or have things turned the corner in the last 9 years? I daresay the purge of members in 2007 (GLA, Brasilians) was so extreme that the folks with the long knives were sated for a bit. But likely, they'll be back.
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Old 09-03-2016, 04:07 AM   #79
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Your argument is flawed because one could easily say that Roman Catholicism and so many other heretical teachings and groups that came from the New Testament period and are based on the Bible, is evidence that the New Testament and the Bible produces bad fruit!
Paul said that in a great house there are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. The Bible doesn't produce bad fruit. Men do.

Let's look at the fruit of the LSM, shall we?

1. Dozens, hundreds of titles. Books, pamphlets, CDs, calendars, whatnot. All for sale to the public. Merchandising.
2. Many prayer meetings, church meetings, Bibles studies, which are all ministry indoctrination sessions.
3. Conferences and trainings, which are ministry indoctrination sessions.
4. Full-time trainings, which are ministry indoctrination centers.

And that's the good fruit. The bad fruit:

1. Storms, divisions, quarantines, turmoils, lawsuits.
2. Cultic spin-offs in mainland China
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:35 AM   #80
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Paul said that in a great house there are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. The Bible doesn't produce bad fruit. Men do.

Let's look at the fruit of the LSM, shall we?

1. Dozens, hundreds of titles. Books, pamphlets, CDs, calendars, whatnot. All for sale to the public. Merchandising.
2. Many prayer meetings, church meetings, Bibles studies, which are all ministry indoctrination sessions.
3. Conferences and trainings, which are ministry indoctrination sessions.
4. Full-time trainings, which are ministry indoctrination centers.

And that's the good fruit. The bad fruit:

1. Storms, divisions, quarantines, turmoils, lawsuits.
2. Cultic spin-offs in mainland China
I accept points 2,3,4 regarding indoctrination. I do not really accept point 1 because try buying ANY bible without paying for it. You would have to condemn all of your local Christian bookstores as well for 'merchandising', otherwise it is a bit hypocritical to consider LSM as merchandising when the Christian world is full of it.

Bad fruit Point 1. I accept as evidence of bad fruit.
Point 2. regarding cults I do not accept. If a cultic spin-off is proof of bad fruit of an organization or religion, then you would have to condemn and reject the whole of Christianity for producing bad fruit as well. Many cults have come from Christianity. Are you condemning Christianity because of that? If no, you are hypocritical. If yes, then you are consistent. If a cult is formed out of LSM, it is not their fault. Did they start or encourage the cultic spinoffs? Clearly, no. In fact, by the things said here, the LSM would be very much against any sort of cult or break away group, according to their desire to control.

Any major denomination fits those same categories you describe. The Reformation and thereafter was a tumultuous period with the loss of many lives as well.
So if you believe that any major denomination has just as much 'bad fruit', then we can agree. But if you are like others on here who accept denominationalism whilst criticising the LR, then I would have to point out the hypocrisy and bias against the LR, whilst ignoring the other good fruit. We also should not be ignoring the good fruit such as changed lives and salvations, a focus on Christ, community fellowship and higher and deeper understanding of God's Word.
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Old 09-04-2016, 01:18 AM   #81
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Evangelical said "You would have to condemn all of your local Christian bookstores as well for 'merchandising'" -
A bookstore merchandises, a book store can control a chain of book stores, even on a worldwide scale. That's a bookstore.
LSM is strange ...

LSM- a publisher, a merchandising outlet for a self proclaimed 'God's oracle', 'Ministry Of The Age', also demands absolute obedience from LSM brand of 'local churches' worldwide, such that the LCs have to every day read and repeat Lee messages and read only Lee messages and LSM published bible, and behave in uniformity all instructions issued out of LSM first by Lee now the Blended.

LSM brand LC elders- in total obedience and conformity to LSM Blended-leaders, any not behaving in this manner quickly 'outed' by the blending force for not being in LSM type oneness and LSM defined body. LC autonomy- pay your own bills, clean your own hall, change your own light bulbs, report your own locality spiritual condition (members count, in oneness or not, in the body feeling or not, anyone causing troubles), order your own standng order HWFMR booklets and make sure of good distribution and money collection.

LSM- whosoever promoted to 'BLEND' level, full-timers and elders etc... must sign pledge of oneness to ONE publication, The LSM. Question: LSM churches are whose (franchised) local churches? Watchman Nee what do you thinks?
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:27 AM   #82
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try buying ANY bible without paying for it. You would have to condemn all of your local Christian bookstores as well for 'merchandising', otherwise it is a bit hypocritical to consider LSM as merchandising when the Christian world is full of it...
True. Christianity is full of merchandising, a lot of it is really shameful. But at least most Christian book-stores allow more than "one publication". So LSM is up there with the rankest of the money-grubbers.

Funny that Nee was able to read all the Christian classics, and take the best from each. But once he put quill to paper, there were no longer any other voices worth heeding? From then on, it was One Trumpet? My, how the age did indeed change.

Then when God's Humble Bondslave passed, nobody at all could function meaningfully. God's Oracle resided solely on print. Lee was the last of the Revelators. So the LSM has a captive market, now.


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If a cult is formed out of LSM, it is not their fault. Did they start or encourage the cultic spinoffs? Clearly, no. In fact, by the things said here, the LSM would be very much against any sort of cult or break away group, according to their desire to control. .
The LSM does desire to control. When they came to mainland China, all the Little Flock house churches were told to "get in line". The age of the spirit had begun, and all you had to do was "masticate the divine". It took off like wildfire. At one point Lee publicly claimed 20 million 'shouters'. But because they gutted the extant leadership, a typical LSM move, there was nobody to control the group and when it spun out of control they denied any involvement. LSM adherents went from 20 million to zero in about 10 years. And you aren't even the least bit curious as to why, I'm sure. In fact you're trying hard not to be curious. You don't want to know the truth.

As one local church elder put it so well, "I'm proud to be an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand".

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higher and deeper understanding of God's Word.
That is a completely subjective, biased, and unfounded assessment. I was there for years, and now am reading what the "cemeteries", as Lee called them, are putting out. It feels like leaving third-grade level reading books and getting a real college-level text. There's simply no comparison. The LSM output can only exist in the hermetically-sealed local church world. In the market-place of free ideas, with give-and-take, and real learning, they simply wouldn't make it. As soon as the light begins to shine, the Lee-world fiction crumbles. Take it from someone who got out.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:41 AM   #83
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If a cult is formed out of LSM, it is not their fault. Did they start or encourage the cultic spinoffs? Clearly, no. .
The other place where the shoe fits uncomfortably well is that when you read the recruiting practices of the most evil and egregious of the spin-off cults, they're so similar to the LSM-approved and promulgated methods.

1. Go to the Christian groups. Find ones who are open. Tell them you also are a believer.
2. Don't let them know your affiliations, or motives. "Oh, we are just Christians."
3. Begin to gain their trust. Let them make emotional connections. Affirm common points of ground.
4. Begin to separate them from others. Start feeding them how awful every other group is, all the problems. Get them to agree in your condemnations.
5. Start to groom them with your special truths. Recovered for these last days.

Etc

Etc

Etc
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Old 09-04-2016, 06:55 AM   #84
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True. Christianity is full of merchandising, a lot of it is really shameful. But at least most Christian book-stores allow more than "one publication". So LSM is up there with the rankest of the money-grubbers...
lol you claim my view is subjective, biased, and unfounded, and then you provide your own subjective view. In comparison to much of the material out there, I think Lee and Nee books are quite good. There are many in the denominations who read them and study them, without being 'brainwashed' by the LSM movement. For the most part the mainline denominations are cemeteries. They don't preach Christ crucified. They don't preach the Spirit. They are more focused on promoting their own religion, entertainment, buildings and fund raising than building the church. People sit on the pews and attend every Sunday without doing anything, the priest or pastor does all the work, they are paid to do so. The priest or pastor extorts money from the congregation by claiming they must tithe otherwise they are 'robbing God' and God won't bless them. The only real "spiritual" service they provide is conducting marriages and funerals, animal blessings and in some cases homosexual union or marriage blessings. They criticize each other for not baptizing in a certain way or for raising hands during worship.

They use hand-waving hocus pocus magic in their "communion" rituals. They baptize infants and assure the parents they are saved simply for being splashed with water. The priest or pastor would never let a member of the laity, give a word or message or prophesy from the Spirit. They will bless and approve of couples engaged in fornication and adultery. They will accept Buddhist, or Hindu teachings and many priests or pastors are both Christian and Buddhist, or of dual faith. Then there are the gay and lesbian churches where the gay or lesbian pastors are ordained because have learnt enough from the "real college level texts" of the theologians. So as not to offend anyone the pastor will call God "Mother". I think Lee was very accurate to call them cemeteries, some actually deserve to be called worse.

I bring your attention to the number of denominations who are approving homosexual ordination or blessings:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o..._homosexuality

You can see there is a whole lot of green there.

And if you are American (I know you aren't, the "you" is directed at any who may be reading) well this conglomeration of denominations have really dropped the ball with the gay marriage law thing haven't they? All in the name of love and tolerance.

I think yourself and many others here on this forum are delusional in focusing on the problems of the "1% of the Body" local churches, whilst oblivious to the problems of the 99%. Nee/Lee and the LR are a little bit of a shining light compared to the alternative majority - at least they preach the Bible, if not badly. And one of you here have been appealing to the views of this 99% as evidence against the "1% local churches". The same 99% of which a majority are tolerant towards homosexual behavior. I really think it is you lot who have their head stuck in the sand. Since you are so obsessed about speaking about Lee and Nee and the negative goings on, it only proves that you have never really left them, yet blinded to the real condition of the Body.

Now Germany, I haven't even begun to think about the condition of the body of Christ in your own country, I unfairly focus on the Americans. But lets think about it for a moment, many sleepy villages and towns with a local Catholic and Lutheran churches. The Christmas times are beautiful by the way, I really enjoy it, but nothing of Christ. When I went to Germany I couldn't help but fall asleep in the churches. And the many idolatrous things in the great cathedrals and the statues of Mary on the sides of the roads. Again, Lee was kind of accurate to call all of this a cemetery, because everyone seems spiritually dead and sleeping. To think that your country was once the shining light of the Reformation, and now of what it has become. The Lutherans only know when to stand and sit when they are told by the Priest and pray and read the bold letters out of a service book. You don't consider that a cemetery? Now consider the "Verantwortung und Verlässlichkeit stärken", perhaps you would like to read:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homose...nd_Lutheranism

In the year 2000, the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) passed the resolution Verantwortung und Verlässlichkeit stärken, in which same-gender partnerships are supported.[7] In November 2010, EKD passed a new right for LGBT ordination of homosexual ministers, who live in civil unions.[8] The most churches within the EKD allowed blessing of same-sex unions.[9]

Again, you try and tell me these are not cemetries? These are abominations.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:05 AM   #85
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lol you claim my view is subjective, biased, and unfounded, and then you provide your own subjective view. .
Of course my view is biased. That's why I stay open to the larger Christian conversation. I rarely presume to hold forth the sum total of objective reality, i.e. the High Peak Truth Recovered for the Present Age, and when I do, someone usually says, "Not so fast." The church is a great place to get right-sized. And when I say, "church", I think you know what I mean: all the believers, not the select few.

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Again, you try and tell me these are not cemetries? These are abominations.
Yes they're abominations. But the solution is not to play Little Jack Horner and sit in the corner pulling out Christmas plums and telling yourself what a good boy you are, there on the proper ground. If you really loved the church you'd engage it, not flee from it.

If you engage the church you'll see the light. Or you can hide, and pretend.
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Old 09-04-2016, 11:41 AM   #86
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God's economy simply means God wanting to dispense Himself into man, so that may might become god. What does "become god" mean? It means man might partake of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). In short, God became a man so that man might become god. In general Christian theology this is called divinization (deification, making divine, or theosis).
The Bible does not teach deification, it prohibits this teaching.

1st, Witness Lee cannot redefine words as he pleases. The word Deification: the act or an instance of deifying. Deify: to make a god of; exalt to the rank of a deity; personify as a deity. To adore or regard as a deity. Show me a credible dictionary with Witness Lee's definition of this word? Any reasonable person who hears that Witness Lee teaches “deification” will understand the word according to this definition. Witness Lee even admits that this is heresy and blasphemy. It is one thing to use obscure meanings of a word, that is a gray area, but to say that black is white it clearly deceitful.

“Actually, I do not use the word deification. It would be heretical to teach deification in the sense of claiming that believers attain to the Godhead. But it is according to the Scriptures to teach that because we have been born of God, we possess the divine life and the divine nature and that, in these two aspects, we have become the same as God. We definitely cannot participate in the Godhead or have the position to be worshipped by others as God; nevertheless, through regeneration we have God's life and nature.” (Witness Lee, Life Study of 2 Peter, Chapter 3, Section 3)

I don’t have an issue with 1 John 3:2 "Beloved, now we are children of God”, but I don’t ignore 1John 5:21 My little children, guard yourselves from idols.

I don’t deny 2 Peter 1:4 "partakers of the divine nature" but I understand that Peter’s point is 2Pet 3:11 “what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness”.

Everyone teaches John 1:12-13 says that we were born, regenerated, by God with His life. The issue we have with Witness Lee is that he went beyond the things written. (1Cor 4:6). Godliness, sanctification, and holy living are the things written. There is no need to use the term deification since his definition is equivalent to sanctification.
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Old 09-04-2016, 12:27 PM   #87
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Again, you try and tell me these are not cemetries? These are abominations.
Why don't you just save some time and call down fire from heaven on them.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:08 PM   #88
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Yes they're abominations. But the solution is not to play Little Jack Horner and sit in the corner pulling out Christmas plums and telling yourself what a good boy you are, there on the proper ground. If you really loved the church you'd engage it, not flee from it.

If you engage the church you'll see the light. Or you can hide, and pretend.
I think we need some genuine light of God's Word:

Isaiah 52:11 Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of the LORD.

2 Cor 6:17 Therefore, "Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."

2 John 1:9-10 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.

1 Cor 5:11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

James 1:27 Pure religion, undefiled before God and the Father, is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

1 John 5:21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

Revelation 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "'Come out of her, my people,' so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;

Can you can offer some verses that show that we should engage with the homosexual-loving and idolatrous denominations?
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:25 PM   #89
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The Bible does not teach deification, it prohibits this teaching.
The principle in Scripture is one of God joining himself to man:
1 Cor 6:17 "But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him"

As a Christian do you call yourself a son of God? If so then you are really calling yourself "god". That is why Jews and Muslims would stone you for saying that.

If your father is a cat, then clearly, you are a cat.
If God is your Father, then clearly, you are "a god".

God is not simply restoring mankind back to their original condition in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were human but they did not have God's Spirit. When God joins himself to a person they become both human and divine.
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Old 09-04-2016, 05:48 PM   #90
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As a Christian do you call yourself a son of God? If so then you are really calling yourself "god". That is why Jews and Muslims would stone you for saying that.

If your father is a cat, then clearly, you are a cat.
If God is your Father, then clearly, you are "a god".
A hasty conclusion, is it not?

The Bible tells us we adopted as sons.
Eph 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will

A silly example, but I've seen videos on Youtube of dogs 'adopting' kittens, etc. The point is, though God is our Father, that doesn't translate into us being 'God'.
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:21 AM   #91
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This is science, the science of fruit bearing, and so 1 person in 5 years becomes 13 persons. and you multiplied yourself 12 times. This is divine economy.

Is God's economy different to divine economy?
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:45 AM   #92
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A hasty conclusion, is it not?

The Bible tells us we adopted as sons.
Eph 1:5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will

A silly example, but I've seen videos on Youtube of dogs 'adopting' kittens, etc. The point is, though God is our Father, that doesn't translate into us being 'God'.

I note this has already been discussed to some extent here:
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=615

This is about whether or not we are considered sons of God because of our legal status as being ones accepted into God's household (a place we don't naturally belong), or are we sons of God because we are "born again".
I believe it is both. Objectively there is the legal adoption, and subjectively there is the inward change to be like Christ.
Protestants, especially evangelicals tend to stress the objective aspect, whereas inner life groups such as the LR stresses the inward change.
There is a third aspect here which is that we are sons of God only if we are led by the Spirit:
"but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Romans 8:13-14)."
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:25 AM   #93
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The principle in Scripture is one of God joining himself to man:
1 Cor 6:17 "But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him"
As a Christian do you call yourself a son of God? If so then you are really calling yourself "god". That is why Jews and Muslims would stone you for saying that.
If your father is a cat, then clearly, you are a cat.
If God is your Father, then clearly, you are "a god".
God is not simply restoring mankind back to their original condition in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were human but they did not have God's Spirit. When God joins himself to a person they become both human and divine.
Evangelical

1. I asked you to show me a credible definition of Deification that was not blasphemous. I will take your silence to mean that you did not find another definition.
2. I accused Witness Lee of practicing deceit when he taught “deification” out of one mouth, said that it wasn’t “deification” out of another mouth, and admitted that the use of this term was blasphemy. I will take your silence on this point to be tacit agreement that Witness Lee was deceitful.

So then, let us now consider what you did say.

First — the principle of Witness Lee’s doctrine of deification, man becomes God, is that “he who is joined to the Lord is one Spirit with Him”. I am joined to the Lord, and my spirit is outraged that Witness Lee would not continue in the teaching of the apostles. The principle that I see here is 1Jn 2:18-19 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

The apostles taught all the things that you have mentioned without ever once teaching that man becomes God. They taught sanctification, they taught godliness. Witness Lee conveniently forgets anything to with how we ought to behave. The apostles say that we don’t know what we will be, yet Witness Lee in his arrogance does. If you want to continue in the apostles teaching you can say “we will be like Him” and you can say that we are son’s of God, but the minute you talk about deification and man becoming God you have ceased to continue with the Apostles and by going out you make it plain you are not of the apostles.

Witness Lee’s cleverly devised fables of cats and the garden of eden, and apple trees having the nature of apples are designed to turn people from the truth. Although the apostles did not teach deification, the New Testament does refer to some who did:

Rev 2:20 But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

We have been charged to keep the Lord’s table and to do that we must flee from idols (1Cor 10:14).

1 Cor 10:19 What say I then? that a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have communion with demons. 21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of demons: ye cannot partake of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons.

Deification is a doctrine of demons.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:35 AM   #94
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I think we need some genuine light of God's Word:...
Evangelical,

Ever wonder why the local church has such a high churn rate?

Churn rate (sometimes called attrition rate), in its broadest sense, is a measure of the number of individuals or items moving out of a collective group over a specific period of time. It is one of two primary factors that determine the steady-state level of customers a business will support.

Because they realize that the ground of the church and the ministry are a stronghold of unclean things. Worse than the religious world they condemn. "Come out of her, My people" is applicable here, as well. If Protestantism is breeding the daughters of the harlot, then the local church is one of her vilest off-spring.

Having said that, I do love my lc brothers and sisters. It is just that they're under the influence of some rather pernicious teachings. So, like Paul, I hope to provoke a few of them, here.

A long, long time ago, there was a narrative. It concerned the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was the Savior of the world. That narrative indeed became lost over time, at least in the public discourse. People like Luther and Wesley did indeed begin to advance it back to its proper sphere. But Lee's Gods Economy metric is actually a turning away. Instead of God's Christ we get God's New Move, the Feeling in the Body, the Proper Church Life, God's Oracle, Masticating the Processed God, Vital Groups, Full-time Training, Standing Orders, and so forth.

But when you come to the Bible itself, you know what Lee calls it? "Fallen human concepts". Instead of pointing to the coming Messiah, Lee thinks it's just vain human imagination.

This is not a recovery of the narrative, but a turning away. Refuse such teachings.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:40 AM   #95
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Evangelical
1. I asked you to show me a credible definition of Deification that was not blasphemous. I will take your silence to mean that you did not find another definition.
Apologies for my rudeness in not responding, there have been many people posting, I intended to respond but other topics drew my attention away.

Deification in one form or another was believed by Martin Luther, and many many early church fathers, and continues to be believed today in the major Christian denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican). As such, to lay blame on Lee for this teaching and to use it as a point to damn his whole ministry and the Lord's Recovery, is to forget the long history of this teaching and it may not be as blasphemous as you might think.

In fact, to deny such a long history of this doctrine in the church is to show ones own ignorance in the matter.

Lee's view is summed up by 2 Peter 2:4. We partake of God's divine life and nature. He published the book 'DEIFICATION—BECOMING GOD
IN LIFE AND IN NATURE BUT NOT IN THE GODHEAD'.

Lee explained it to be no more than stated in 2 Peter 2:4.

It is easy to show that Lee's understanding does not go beyond the belief of the early church and even Martin Luther and CS Lewis.

This is a sample quote from this study about Luther and Theosis:

http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/marq...andtheosis.pdf

In an early (1515) Christmas sermon, Luther notes:
As the Word became flesh, so it is certainly necessary that the flesh
should also become Word. For just for this reason does the Word
become flesh, in order that the flesh might become Word. In other
words: God becomes man, in order that man should become God.
Thus strength becomes weak in order that weakness might become
strong. The Logos puts on our form and figure and image and
likeness, in order that He might clothe us with His image, form,
likeness. Thus wisdom becomes foolish, in order that foolishness
might become wisdom, and so in all other things which are in God
and us, in all of which He assumes ours in order to confer upon us
His [things].

But before we cry "blasphemy!" let us consider the facts:

Deification has been believed in the church since the day dot.

I find this a good article, not too hard to read:
http://www.dualravens.com/fullerlife/theosis.htm

From:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divinization_(Christian)

Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215)
"[T]he Word of God became man, that thou mayest learn from man how man may become God.
"[H]e who listens to the Lord, and follows the prophecy given by Him, will be formed perfectly in the likeness of the teacher—made a god going about in flesh."
"And to be incorruptible is to participate in divinity...

Augustine of Hippo (c. 354-430)
"'For He hath given them power to become the sons of God.'[John 1:12] If we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.

Justin Martyr (c. 100-165)
"[Men] were made like God, free from suffering and death, provided that they kept His commandments, and were deemed deserving of the name of His sons, and yet they, becoming like Adam and Eve, work out death for themselves; let the interpretation of the Psalm be held just as you wish, yet thereby it is demonstrated that all men are deemed worthy of becoming “gods,” and of having power to become sons of the Highest."

Even (almost) everyones favourite book author CS Lewis believed in it:

"The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were "gods" and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said"

C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, rev. ed. (New York: Macmillan, Collier Books, 1980), 18.

In short, Lee's teaching on the matter of deification is no more than that already believed in Christianity since the early church.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:56 AM   #96
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Deification in one form or another was believed by Martin Luther, and many many early church fathers, and continues to be believed today in the major Christian denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican). As such, to lay blame on Lee for this teaching and to use it as a point to damn his whole ministry and the Lord's Recovery, is to forget the long history of this teaching and it may not be as blasphemous as you might think.
How ironic.

Lee claimed that his "high peaks" were the consummation of the recovery of lost truths in scripture. Now Evangelical wants me to accept that lots of Christians have been believing this all along!

How can you positively reference degraded Christianity which your leader regularly condemned as "hopeless and helpless?"
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:57 AM   #97
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Evangelical,
Ever wonder why the local church has such a high churn rate?
The loss of members in a church has been recognized to be a church-wide thing, so is not isolated to the LR, so not really a solid argument.

Let's rationally and logically evaluate your claims about it being worse than the religious world it condemns, as you put it.

Is there a systematic abuse of children under a clergy-laity system (or any system) which fosters it and an attitude of cover up at the higher levels?

Has WL and the LR executed Christians in the name of Christ and spilt Christian blood over a long period of time?

Does WL and the LR agree with or support or practice ordination of homosexual ministers, or bless civil unions or marriages?

For the "religious world", I would say the answer is yes to all the above.

Can you say the same for Lee?
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:02 AM   #98
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In fact, to deny such a long history of this doctrine in the church is to show ones own ignorance in the matter.
Thank you for reminding me that I am ignorant, we all need to be humbled.

All of this may be true, but as a basis to accept a doctrine as not being blasphemous it is what James referred to as "having the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ with respect of persons". We have been specifically told not to do that, both by James and Paul. So I am going to treat this as an interesting aside, but essentially irrelevant to answering my question.

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Lee's view is summed up by 2 Peter 2:4. We partake of God's divine life and nature. He published the book 'DEIFICATION—BECOMING GOD IN LIFE AND IN NATURE BUT NOT IN THE GODHEAD'.
Lee explained it to be no more than stated in 2 Peter 2:4.
Once again I will repeat, Witness Lee does not get to tell me that the word idol does not mean idol. Likewise he cannot tell me that the word "deification" does not mean "deification". He can create a new word, perhaps "Witlessification" and define it any way he pleases. Or, he can use the New Testament term "Sanctification" and use the New Testament definition which includes 2Pet 2:4. I am well aware of how Witness Lee explained his deceit. However, it is deceit and I reject it.

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It is easy to show that Lee's understanding does not go beyond the belief of the early church and even Martin Luther and CS Lewis.
This is a sample quote from this study about Luther and Theosis:
http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/marq...andtheosis.pdf
My brother, do not have the faith of our Lord Jesus with respect of persons.

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Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
But before we cry "blasphemy!" let us consider the facts:
Deification has been believed in the church since the day dot.
Like the fact that Witness Lee called it Blasphemy in the Galatians training?

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Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I find this a good article, not too hard to read:
http://www.dualravens.com/fullerlife/theosis.htm
From:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divinization_(Christian)
C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, rev. ed. (New York: Macmillan, Collier Books, 1980), 18.
In short, Lee's teaching on the matter of deification is no more than that already believed in Christianity since the early church.
Hold it, you reject the things Christianity teaches and believes in when it is convenient for you to judge them (the proper ground) but the fact that others have fallen for this deification doctrine is a basis for you to accept it. Do you not see the hypocrisy in that?

I do not know what we will be like. I do know that we are being sanctified, we are being transformed, and that we shall be like Him. I also know that we need to keep ourselves from idols, that we cannot partake of the cup of the Lord and the cup of idols. I know that false prophets like Jezebel and Balaam teach believers to eat things sacrificed to idols and I know that Jesus rebuked the believers who tolerate Jezebel or Balaam. Finally I know that false prophets are revealed when they do not continue in the apostles teaching but go out from that teaching. Deification is a very clear example of Witness Lee going out from the apostle's teaching.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:10 AM   #99
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Regardless of what Lee called it and the semantics of the words, he explained what it meant, and so to continue to argue that he meant something which he said he did not mean, is wrong. It does not mean becoming part of the Godhead, so there's no blasphemy. If you think there is, well stone us for blasphemy, I don't care.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:28 AM   #100
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Regardless of what Lee called it and the semantics of the words, he explained what it meant, and so to continue to argue that he meant something which he said he did not mean, is wrong. It does not mean becoming part of the Godhead, so there's no blasphemy. If you think there is, well stone us for blasphemy, I don't care.
Despise -- to regard unworthy of ones notice.

Matt 18:6 but whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.

7 Woe unto the world because of occasions of stumbling! for it must needs be that the occasions come; but woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh! 8 And if thy hand or thy foot causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed or halt, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. 9 And if thine eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire. 10 See that ye despise not one of these little ones: for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
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Old 09-05-2016, 01:33 PM   #101
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The loss of members in a church has been recognized to be a church-wide thing, so is not isolated to the LR, so not really a solid argument.
All churches have attrition, all companies with customers have "churn". But that wasn't my point, at all. My point was on the attrition rate, the so-called churn rate. If you ran a phone company and your underlings said that your churn rate was twice the others', that would indicate dissatisfied customers. If you just shrugged and said, "All phone companies experience churn", you'd be out of a job within 2 years.

I was active in the local church for a number of years, and in non-lc Christianity both before and after. I'd estimate the churn rate of the lc is probably between 2 and 3X the average.

Quote:
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Let's rationally and logically evaluate your claims about it being worse than the religious world it condemns, as you put it.
Is there a systematic abuse of children under a clergy-laity system (or any system) which fosters it and an attitude of cover up at the higher levels?
Has WL and the LR executed Christians in the name of Christ and spilt Christian blood over a long period of time?
Does WL and the LR agree with or support or practice ordination of homosexual ministers, or bless civil unions or marriages?
For the "religious world", I would say the answer is yes to all the above.
Can you say the same for Lee?
I think I remember reading of sexual predators who were ministry zealots were relocated in the local church, but am not sure. If someone has info on this, please let us know. I believe it's possible, however, because of what I do know:

Witness Lee was a lover of money. He defrauded the local church members out of hundreds of thousands of dollars (1970s dollars) to fund his family. If you've never read the DayStar saga, please do. It's an eye-opener. It was created to subsidize neer-do-well son #1, Timothy.

Witness Lee put neer-do-well son #2 Philip in charge of the LSM for what, 12 years? When Philip was caught en flagrante delecto, Witness Lee had injured and aggrieved parties relocated, and those who protested were run out of town.

Or were you not aware of these events? What makes the local church and the LSM worse than the Christianity it condemns is that the lc is based on intolerance and holier-than-thou condemnation of all other groups of believers as devilish, satanic, and dark. By its own measure, the lc, being all those and arrogant as well, is thereby the worst of all.
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Old 09-05-2016, 02:23 PM   #102
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Re: What is God's economy?
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*
6.01 min
This is science, the science of fruit bearing, and so 1 person in 5 years becomes 13 persons. and you multiplied yourself 12 times. This is divine economy.

Is God's economy different to divine economy?
I suddenly feel like the AFLAC duck after hearing Leo Durocher talking about the difference between money and cash.

Totally befuddling.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:14 PM   #103
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Regardless of what Lee called it and the semantics of the words, he explained what it meant, and so to continue to argue that he meant something which he said he did not mean, is wrong. It does not mean becoming part of the Godhead, so there's no blasphemy. If you think there is, well stone us for blasphemy, I don't care.
So you have chosen to agree to disagree.

Let me ask you a different question then: what is the line that you will not tolerate a "Bible teacher" to cross? Jesus rebuked the church in Thyatira for tolerating that woman Jezebel. Jesus has a line that He feels a person should not tolerate others to cross. Paul said "their mouths must be stopped" so Paul also had a line.

Can you tell us what is the line that you would not tolerate a so called "Bible teacher" to cross?
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:38 PM   #104
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"Come out of her, My people" is applicable here, as well. If Protestantism is breeding the daughters of the harlot, then the local church is one of her vilest off-spring.
I actually don't recommend people leave the lc of Lee, nor leave the Methodists or Presbyterians. Paul said, "Wherever you were called, there remain." God may not call you in a favorable location. But an unfavorable location is an opportunity for God's blessing and light to pour through you.

Contrast that to those who withdraw, like the lc, and build pens, and will only attempt meaningful relations with those who enter the pen. "Oh, we don't do ecumenicalism." True, because you don't do anything but sit in your cell and pretend that you have escaped the evil dark world.

But I wanted to write about teaching, not behaviours. Local church behaviour isn't as bad as some of the worst of Christianity, true, but their teaching is right there near the bottom. And this is why: because of their isolationism, they remain stuck in 19th century revelations, and abetted by the "madness of the prophet" (Nee and Lee) in the 20th. Because of their isolationism, when Nee and Lee went in the ditch nobody could stop it; on the contrary all were expected to follow in the interests of promoting oneness.

Consider this: the Bible is the story of Jesus. Man fell, and God so loved the world that He sent His only-begotten Son, that we might believe and not perish. This narrative did arguably get corrupted, and turned inside out. And Luther for Europe, and Wesley for the English, and the Puritans for North America, and Zinzendorf and others, did indeed begin to recover the story from the text. Justification by faith was important to hold forth to the public. But Nee and then Lee's addendums weren't a progress of this narrative recovery but a trip into the ditch.

Jesus said, "These things were written concerning Me". Lee said, "No they were not. They were just vain words by fallen men." Who are you going to believe? Jesus, or Lee?

Look at Psalm 1 for a prominent example. "Blessed is the man who doesn't go to wicked ways; but who meditates on the word both day and night". . . Lee said this is vanity. Nobody can do this. Um, ever hear of a guy named Jesus the Nazarene? The whole NT shows how Jesus was the fulfillment of positive OT types, and promises, but here, Lee wasn't interested; he had his "economy" metric to promote, and couldn't find it in Psalm 1.

If you want corroboration that Psalm 1 isn't "fallen", look at how Deuteronomy 17:14-20. Especially vv 19 and 20. Vain? Fallen? Natural?

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

18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the Levitical priests. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his fellow Israelites and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom in Israel.(NIV)
Then look at Psalm 2. Behold the King! Yes indeed, the same Man as in Psalm 1. Only one Man fulfilled Psalm 1; this man is God's Son in Psalm 2.

Again and again Witness Lee missed Christ, and forbade his followers; if Lee couldn't see Christ, no Christ. Can you imagine being among the attendees getting 'trained', and sitting there as this rubbish came from the podium? Not one peep or murmur from the assembled? Nobody shifted uncomfortably? Because they know that one can only 'amen' the Ascended Master, no matter how badly he mauls the text. The local ground was the holding pen, now you have to eat Lee gruel 24/7.

Jesus said, "Seek and ye shall find." Lee said, "Move along everyone, nothing to see here. . ." No seeking allowed in the local church. And no finding.

"We're in the church our home!" No more seeking, and no more finding.

"Home, home in the church, it is here that we've ended our search!" No more seeking, no more finding. How about, "Home, home in the ditch. It is here that we've followed Lee."
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:08 PM   #105
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So you have chosen to agree to disagree.

Let me ask you a different question then: what is the line that you will not tolerate a "Bible teacher" to cross? Jesus rebuked the church in Thyatira for tolerating that woman Jezebel. Jesus has a line that He feels a person should not tolerate others to cross. Paul said "their mouths must be stopped" so Paul also had a line.

Can you tell us what is the line that you would not tolerate a so called "Bible teacher" to cross?
Today I was reading I John. John also confronted this same issue. His "line in the sand" was in 4.1-3. I think that would be within the bounds of Jesus' word to Thyatira, and Paul's instructions to Titus.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:14 PM   #106
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This is science, the science of fruit bearing, and so 1 person in 5 years becomes 13 persons. and you multiplied yourself 12 times. This is divine economy.

Is God's economy different to divine economy?
Welcome to LocalChurchDiscussions least!

If God does have an "economy", then surely it is clearly expressed, annunciated and defined for us in the Word of God. It must be something that is revealed from Genesis to Revelation. I would point us to today's quote of the day:
"Only one thing validates a message or a messenger: The whole counsel of the word of God."

"The Economy of God" was Witness Lee's seminal work (published in 1968) and much of his ministry in the West was based upon this work.

Although Lee does take us through the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, he does a lot of "adding and taking away" from the biblical text itself. One recent example noted on our forum is this notion that "God became man so that man can become God". As others have so aptly pointy out, this whole idea of man becoming God is not even hinted at, much less openly stated. Yet Lee felt he was qualified to string together a few verses, mix them together with some of his make-it-up-as-you-go-along, home-brewed "theology", and then declare his teaching as "recovered truth". It should be no surprise that this kind of faux biblical theology has been thoroughly rejected by the vast majority Christian teachers, scholars and apologists...at least by all the ones who are not bought and paid for by the LC/LSM/DCP

If by "economy" Witness Lee actually meant to convey the whole story and purpose of God in creating and redeeming man, and fulfilling of his eternal purpose and bringing forth the coming of his kingdom, then he was simply off the mark with his "processed triune God dispensing himself into man" teaching. At best, this teaching points us to a few of the trees located in a vast forest, however it "misses the forest for the trees".


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Old 09-05-2016, 07:01 PM   #107
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At best, this teaching points us to a few of the trees located in a vast forest, however it "misses the forest for the trees".
Obedience. Our faith is in the Obedient One. Now by faith we struggle to follow, and obey. The Spirit sees us in our weakness, and comes to help us. The Paraclete.

Or we can sit in our corner like Jack Horner, and tell ourselves how transformed we must be getting. That is The Economy of God, by Witness Lee.
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:02 AM   #108
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It does not mean becoming part of the Godhead, so there's no blasphemy.
How is Godhead separated from God? How do you know you are a god (God) without a godhead (Godhead)?
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:25 AM   #109
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How is Godhead separated from God? How do you know you are a god (God) without a godhead (Godhead)?
Great question. It is the difference between Jesus being the Son of God, and you and I being sons of God (if we are believers, that is).

It is the difference between God being the Judge, and we being judges.
The difference between Christ our High Priest and King of Kings, and us being priests and kings.

Revelation 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood..."

Luke 19:17 "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

This is really a process over time, described in Romans 8:29:

Romans 8:29 says For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

It will not be completed until we receive immortal (and godly) bodies like Christ:

1 Cor 15:53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

1 Cor 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

When we become immortal, we become "gods", essentially. Think of it, do mere mortals live forever? No. Do mere mortals rule the earth? No. Do mere mortals judge even the angels? No.

Now consider, that God is the only Judge:
James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?


Yet later, as "gods", God will give us the privileged to judge the world and angels:

1 Cor 6:2 Or do you not know that the Lord's people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

1 Cor 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

Judging is a role really reserved for God Almighty alone, especially for His angels.

Humans now are lower than angels but will be crowned, or immortalized later:
Hebrews 2:7 You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor

Yet it says right there in 1 Cor 6:3 we will judge angels. Therefore we have become like "gods".

I like the way CS Lewis describes it:

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship.

C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, rev. ed. (New York: Macmillan, Collier Books, 1980), 18

I like this statement by him and makes me think that the poor and despised of this world such as the homeless, will one day be ruling over the Earth in their immortalized and god-like bodies:

1 Cor 1:26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
1 Cor 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.


C.S. Lewis stated in his book, "Mere Christianity" as follows:

The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were "gods" and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 174—75.

Jews and Muslims do not accept Christians calling themselves "sons of God" because they know what it means - that we become like God.

Unfortunately because of this truth being suppressed by Satan about humankind's true destiny, many in Christianity today do not know their bible and what it means to call themselves a son of God. They think salvation merely means to go to heaven and have no concept of what lies beyond that.
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Old 09-06-2016, 03:35 AM   #110
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Today I was reading I John. John also confronted this same issue. His "line in the sand" was in 4.1-3. I think that would be within the bounds of Jesus' word to Thyatira, and Paul's instructions to Titus.
After studying James I have a new take on those verses. To me, confessing Jesus come in the flesh seems to be equivalent to a work of faith.

So when Witness Lee was condemning works, it was equivalent to denying Jesus coming in the flesh.

We do not like to set up social and charitable works such as schools and hospitals. The apostle Paul did not do this kind of work. Our service must be a direct building on the unique foundation. (Witness Lee, Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 15, Section 2)
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Old 09-06-2016, 03:42 AM   #111
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Thank you Evangelical for the long reply. It will take some time for me to look into what you wrote. pardon me for being 'least'.
After quick reading through, I find the long passage text did not answer to;
"How is Godhead separated from God? How do you know you are a god (God) without a godhead (Godhead)?"

You mentioned 'become god' as if it is implied in the bible, you do not have bible verse that says exactly what you or WL(?) said.
C.S. Lewis I do not know but his book should be just another man's writing such as WL's writing is man's writing.

You also said 'becomes god' is not now, not until inherit immortality. But I heard LC members proclaimed: I am god(God), I am god(God)!
Ron Kangas said: I am god but not the godhead, for example I am not here talking to you at the same time physically present in another city.
So I asked: 'how do you know you are a god without a godhead?".
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:06 AM   #112
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Thank you Evangelical for the long reply. It will take some time for me to look into what you wrote. pardon me for being 'least'.
After quick reading through, I find the long passage text did not answer to;
"How is Godhead separated from God? How do you know you are a god (God) without a godhead (Godhead)?"

You mentioned 'become god' as if it is implied in the bible, you do not have bible verse that says exactly what you or WL(?) said.
C.S. Lewis I do not know but his book should be just another man's writing such as WL's writing is man's writing.

You also said 'becomes god' is not now, not until inherit immortality. But I heard LC members proclaimed: I am god(God), I am god(God)!
Ron Kangas said: I am god but not the godhead, for example I am not here talking to you at the same time physically present in another city.
So I asked: 'how do you know you are a god without a godhead?".
There are two aspects of Christians being god. One is the present aspect, and the one I described before is the future aspect. Just as Christians have eternal life now (John 3:36), we don't have it in the sense that we still must die once, and receive eternal life in a complete way once we receive our immortal bodies. That is, we can never die again.

The Scriptures says God calls His representatives, the prophets, 'god' in the psalms:

Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

When God says "Ye are gods", this means "I have given you my name and power to rule your people in my stead" (Benson Commentary)

This is because they are God's representatives on Earth and carry His Word and authority. So the difference is that god is a representative of God, and God (or Godhead) is God Himself.

A Christian is also God's representative on Earth and carry His Word and authority (Mark 16:17). More than that, a Christian is greater than an old testament prophet (Luke 7:28), and is called a child of God or a son of God (Gal 3:26, 1 John 3:2).

Yet Christians are not merely representatives in the sense of messengers. Christians are "born again" ( John 3:1-21). That is, we are all first born physically as humans, but we are born a second time by the Holy Spirit. So Christians also bear the image of Christ and the power of God. In Ephesians 1:19 Paul says "I pray that you'll begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe.... ".
God has given Christians the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Eph 1:19).

Furthermore, the church is considered the Bride of Christ:

Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25–27) (http://www.gotquestions.org/bride-of-Christ.html)

If the Bridegroom is God (Christ as the Son of God is God), then the Bride must equal the Bridegroom, the Bride is god as well.

In this sense Christians are 'god' today. There are more aspects I could go into about Christians being or becoming god.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:46 AM   #113
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The Scriptures says God calls His representatives, the prophets, 'god' in the psalms:

Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

When God says "Ye are gods", this means "I have given you my name and power to rule your people in my stead" (Benson Commentary)

This is because they are God's representatives on Earth and carry His Word and authority. So the difference is that god is a representative of God, and God (or Godhead) is God Himself.
Citing Psalm 82 as promoting deification is possibly error. Jesus knew the scripture, as did His hearers. "You are Gods, yet you will die like men". We don't know the scriptures as well, so we ignore the "die like men" part. These gods, so-called, were not 'god' at all, but corrupt judges, princes and rulers. They had the capacity to discriminate, yet failed. They took bribes, bowed to political pressure, etc. And in so doing, they failed, and re-played the original fall, and this also mirrors the "sons of God" story of the angels who disobeyed, the "One third of the stars fell from heaven" narrative. Genesis 6, 2 Peter 2, Jude 6, and various points of John's Apocalypse reference this. It was a continual biblical touchstone. God's command overturned and usurped, both in heaven and on earth, and the consequences of so doing. As in heaven, so on earth, both obedience and disobedience.

So "you are gods" is Jesus turning the scribes and pharisees' accusations back on themselves. Their judgments of Jesus were politically motivated, revealed their source (satan), and indicated their eventual end - death. Read the entire psalm - all 8 verses. Where does context suggest deification. On the contrary, it suggests massive failure, presumption, and loss.
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:24 PM   #114
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Aron,
that is an acute observation, but have you considered, that if God did not regard them as gods, then He could not have said "dying like men/mortals" ? In other words, God truly considered them as gods, yet their behavior meant they must die like men. In other words, they should have been immortal. Verse 6 shows that "god" = child of God. So God regarded them as His children, and "a god" is a child of God.

We can note two things, God called them gods ' Ye are gods', it does not say "we are gods", and secondly,
Jesus used that verse in his defense against the Pharisees who claimed he was blaspheming for saying He was the Son of God. This is found in John 10:33-36.

Jesus was saying, hold on a minute, "if God called your prophets and judges "gods", in Psalm 82, then why are you blaming me for blasphemy when I called myself a Son of God?" Jesus's statement in verse 35 proves again that it was God who called them that.

I consulted a number of bible commentaries from here:

http://biblehub.com/commentaries/psalms/82-6.htm

Which all show that use of the word god, child of God, and son of God, are synonymous. You can see, that all commentaries say that God calls them gods in the affirmative, and not in the negative. So if I call myself "god" I am not blaspheming, any more than if I call myself a son of God or a child of God.

Some examples:

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
6. I said, Te are gods,

And all of you sons of the Most High (R.V.).

I is emphatic. It is by God’s appointment that they have been invested with divine authority to execute judgement in His name. Cp. the language used of the king, Psalm 2:7; Psalm 89:27.

Pulpit Commentary
Verse 6. - I have said, Ye are gods; i.e. "in my Law I have called you gods" - I have given you this lofty name (see Exodus 21:6; Exodus 22:8, 9), since ye judge on my behalf, "as my representatives" (Deuteronomy 1:17; 2 Chronicles 19:6; Romans 13:1, 2). And all of you are children of the Most High. Not therefore "gods" in the strictest sense, but possessing a derived, and so a qualified, divinity.

Barnes:
I have said, Ye are gods - See the notes at Psalm 82:1. I have given you this title; I have conferred on you an appellation which indicates a greater nearness to God than any other which is bestowed on men - an appellation which implies that you are God's representatives on earth, and that your decision is, in an important sense, to be regarded as his.
And all of you are children of the Most High - Sons of God. That is, You occupy a rank which makes it proper that you should be regarded as his sons.

Matthew Poole's Commentary
I have said, Ye are gods; I have given you my name and power to rule your people in my stead.

Children of the Most High; representing my person, and bearing both my name and lively characters of my majesty and authority, as children bear the name and image of their parents.

Gill:
I have said, ye are gods,.... In the law, Exodus 21:6 or they were so by his appointment and commission; he constituted them judges and magistrates, invested them with such an office, by which they came to have this title; see Romans 13:1, and so our Lord interprets these words, that they were gods "to whom" the word of God came, which gave them a commission and authority to exercise their office, John 10:35, or rather "against whom" it came, pronouncing the sentence of death on them, as in Psalm 82:7, to which the reference is; declaring, that though they were gods by office, yet were mortal men, and should die. The Targum is, "I said, as angels are ye accounted"; and so judges and civil magistrates had need to be as angels, and to have the wisdom of them; see 2 Samuel 14:20. Jarchi interprets it of angels, but magistrates are undoubtedly meant:
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:28 AM   #115
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Aron,
that is an acute observation, but have you considered, that if God did not regard them as gods, then He could not have said "dying like men/mortals" ? In other words, God truly considered them as gods, yet their behavior meant they must die like men.
What kind of gods die like men? Doesn't sound like the Jewish JHWH to me. Sounds more like the failed gods of the nations.

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I consulted a number of bible commentaries from here:
There is study to confirm your view, but I"ll take the minority position, here. The Jews were a strictly monotheistic religion, and to take Jesus' words prima facie here is absurd. No; He was using the absurdity of taking His word at face value, to make the accusers see themselves as God saw them. Failed. Completely unqualified to make judgments on His person and ministry.

To support the idea that Jesus is promoting deification of man, here, is to overlook that He's struggling against the "brood of vipers" - He's not interested in theological niceties. This is an extremely antagonistic interchange, and He's turning it back on them. They are the 'gods that failed', who are not gods at all, but fallen men, usurped by satanic power, and whose usurpation of divine authority makes them twice the sons of gehenna as those they piously condemn.

Please don't ignore the fact that Jews were strictly monotheistic, in looking for support in "you are gods" phraseology. I'd say that's a big mistake. My opinion, of course.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:53 PM   #116
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What kind of gods die like men? Doesn't sound like the Jewish JHWH to me. Sounds more like the failed gods of the nations..
Aside from what Jesus meant, (not disagreeing with you I see the context), God did in fact call men 'gods', therefore if I want to call myself a god, I can, without fear of God's judgement or men's false accusations of blasphemy. Consider that if God had no problem calling us 'gods', even if it was only to prove a point, then we should not either.
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:04 AM   #117
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Aside from what Jesus meant, (not disagreeing with you I see the context), God did in fact call men 'gods', therefore if I want to call myself a god, I can, without fear of God's judgement or men's false accusations of blasphemy. Consider that if God had no problem calling us 'gods', even if it was only to prove a point, then we should not either.
The Mormons had it right all along?
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:09 AM   #118
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The Mormons had it right all along?
Please explain?
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:09 AM   #119
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Please explain?
Sorry, I was being a little sarcastic.

If we should consider ourselves as "gods" as Evangelical suggests, then the Mormons, who claim the same, have had it right all along.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:51 PM   #120
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Sorry, I was being a little sarcastic.

If we should consider ourselves as "gods" as Evangelical suggests, then the Mormons, who claim the same, have had it right all along.
If they believe that then yes they are right on this issue.

Noting that the Catholic, Orthodox churches have believed this also all along.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:59 PM   #121
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It is almost impossible for any group to be wrong in every doctrine.
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:59 PM   #122
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Great question. It is the difference between Jesus being the Son of God, and you and I being sons of God (if we are believers, that is).
(1) Angels are also called sons of God. Are angels ‘gods without the Godhead’?
Genesis 6: 4
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Job 1: 6
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Job 38: 7
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

(2) Are there bible verses that say directly that, christians being sons of God are gods?

(3)
Psalm 82: 1
God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. (KJV)
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
God stands in the assembly of the Angels and among the Angels he will judge.

*** Here ‘gods’ in Psalm 82, in Aramaic bible in plain English is ‘angels’.


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It is the difference between God being the Judge, and we being judges.
The difference between Christ our High Priest and King of Kings, and us being priests and kings.
You are just substituting the upper case Judge to God and lower case judges to gods, substituting upper case King to God and lower case kings to gods …. etc., This is a play of the English language. Wonder how you do it in other languages.
You have not answer to ‘how is Godhead separated from God’.
You only make clear the difference between ‘God’ and ‘gods’ using the difference in the capital letter and the small letter of the words: Judge and judges, King and kings, Priest and priests.
You do not even attempt something like ‘we are judges but without the Judgehead’.
And how do you separate Judgehead from judges? How do you separate Godhead from god?
You proclaim you are gods without the Godhead. What gods are you?
In the bible there are: ‘god of this world’ or ‘god of this age’, ‘their god is their belly’, ‘all the gods of Egypt’, ‘do not mention names of other gods’, ‘they sacrifice to gods they have never known’, ‘to new gods that have come recently’, ‘so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords” ….

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Revelation 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."
That’s exactly what it is: a kingdom and priests to serve our God.
You would substitute the verse to read ‘You have made them to be a godsdom and gods to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth’?
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1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood..."
That’s exactly what it is: a chosen people, a royal priesthood.
You would substitute the verse to read ‘But you are a chosen godrace, a royal godshood …’?
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Luke 19:17 "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'
That’s exactly what it is: my good servant!
You would change ‘my good servant’ to ‘God’s good god’?

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This is really a process over time, described in Romans 8:29:
Romans 8:29 says For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
It will not be completed until we receive immortal (and godly) bodies like Christ:
(1) How does the above answer: How is Godhead separated from God? How do you know you are a god (God) without a godhead (Godhead)?

(2) Romans 8: 28- 30 (recovery version bible)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Because those whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brothers;
And those whom He predestinated, these He also called; and those whom He called, these He also justified; and those whom He justified, these He also glorified.

*** Called, justified, glorified. *** That’s it.
You want to force ‘god without godhead’ into these bible verses?

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1 Cor 15:53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
1 Cor 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
Following the above 2 verses are verses 55, 56, 57 as below:
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the claw.
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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When we become immortal, we become "gods", essentially. Think of it, do mere mortals live forever? No. Do mere mortals rule the earth? No. Do mere mortals judge even the angels? No.
(1) You would the verses following 54 to read: When we become immortal, we become “gods” essentially. Mere mortals cannot live forever, cannot rule the earth and cannot judge even the angels. (huh?)

(2) Recovery version I Corinthians 15: 58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

You would substitute ‘judging’ in place of ‘labor’ in the work of the Lord?
Why? Because the result of becoming gods is to ‘judge’? Even judge angels? You seem to use ‘even judge angels’ as a motivation (bait) to ‘become gods’.

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Now consider, that God is the only Judge:
James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you--who are you to judge your neighbor?
Yet later, as "gods", God will give us the privileged to judge the world and angels:
James 4: 11 says: Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
James said brothers and sisters slandering one another or judges them speaks against the law and judges the law. Yet, there is only one Lawgiver and Judge.
God is the only judge of the law, for God is the Lawgiver. Judging according to the law is keeping the law.
* Yet later, as ‘gods’ …
(1)You being now ‘god’ as you proclaim ‘I am god’, quote the bible that who are you to judge your neighbor; yet you judge anyway (not waiting till ‘yet later, as gods’). Point at a (near or distant) neighbour and say ‘the church in New York does not believe in Christ’.
(2) You are motivated by ‘the privilege’ to judge? You said, as ‘gods’, God will give us the privileged to judge the world and angels:
gods are privileged to judge? That's why you have to be gods? for the privilege
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1 Cor 6:2 Or do you not know that the Lord's people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?
(1) You would substitute ‘Lord’s people’ with ‘gods’?
The Lord’s people will judge the world, not ‘later gods will judge the world’.

(2) Recovery version I Cor 6:2
Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you unworthy of the smallest judgements?

You would substitute ‘the saints’ to ‘gods’? Revise the Recovery version?

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1 Cor 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

Judging is a role really reserved for God Almighty alone, especially for His angels.
You first quote the bible (God’s word) to say: we will judge angels
then you say (your own word): judging is a role really reserved for God Almighty alone, especially for His angels.
It is God’s words vs your words, or your words vs God’s word?
Is there ‘really’ something you know better about the Almighty God that He himself ‘really’ does not know about?
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Humans now are lower than angels but will be crowned, or immortalized later:
Humans? Who are humans here? All human beings?
Humans now are lower than angels but will be crowned, meaning all human beings will be crowned?
will be crowned, or immortalized later: crowned and immortalized meant the same?

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Hebrews 2:7 You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor
Above verse you quoted from the NIV bible, it says: You made ‘them’ …
There are also other versions that used ‘them’ … in this verse.
Below kjv and recovery version used ‘him’ in place of ‘them’.
(KJV) Hebrews 2:7
Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
(Recovery version) Hebrews 2:7
You have made Him a little inferior to the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor and have set Him over the works of Your hands;

The Recovery version grouped Hebrews 2: 5-18 under a topic titled:
As the Son of Man -- As Man
That means the Recovery version interprets the ‘him’ in Heb 2:7 as the Son of Man – As Man.

You quoted Heb 2:7 that used ‘them’ in place of ‘him’, because you need to substitute this word to ‘gods’ to illustrate your deduction of ‘become gods’?

Have you betrayed your own version of the bible? or you read the NIV and not the recovery version? hahaha, that’s funny lol … very funny

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Yet it says right there in 1 Cor 6:3 we will judge angels. Therefore we have become like "gods".
The bible verse says: we will judge angels …
You then THEREFORE it: we have become like “gods”.
The bible does not say: we will judge angels, therefore we have become like “gods”.
It is your THEREFORE, your own words, not God’s word.
And what is this: become ‘like’ gods?
Are you ‘gods’ as you proclaim? or are you ‘become gods’ as you also say? or are you become ‘like’ gods as you wrote above?
Do you ‘really’ know what you say?
And what happens to the ‘not the Godhead’ part? Question still not answered. Do you ‘really’ know how you are god without Godhead?
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:35 PM   #123
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You proclaim you are gods without the Godhead. What gods are you?

In the bible there are: ‘god of this world’ or ‘god of this age’, ‘their god is their belly’, ‘all the gods of Egypt’, ‘do not mention names of other gods’, ‘they sacrifice to gods they have never known’, ‘to new gods that have come recently’, ‘so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords” ….
This is what I was touching on elsewhere. Israel has One True God, not many 'gods'. So the term 'gods' in plural is typically couched in dismissive terms.

"You are 'gods' . . . but you will die like men. You will fall like the princes." You are 'gods' BUT you are not God. What kind of 'gods' die like men? And fall like the princes? What is our goal, here? As least put it, What gods are you?

To discriminate god without the Godhead is an exercise in vanity, against monotheism. "Hear, O Israel, there is One God". . . there are angels that are not God, men that are not God, judges and princes that are not God, fruit trees and steamships that are not God. So to say that we are 'gods' or 'god' but not God is essentially meaningless. A god that is not God, in monotheism, is what? It was merely an excuse to give a conference (or two), print up some books, and keep people distracted for a bit longer.

Lee never really had a master plan, that I can see, except how to survive for another day. Stay on the lc throne for one more day.
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:42 PM   #124
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If they believe that then yes they are right on this issue.
Noting that the Catholic, Orthodox churches have believed this also all along.
Evangelical referred to the Mormons in his first sentence.
Followed he noted that the Catholic, Orthodox churches have believed this all along.

This believe being 'christians are gods'.

In other posts Evangelical said 'they' (LSM churches) are unique.
He said they start new churches in the principle of 'new wine in new wineskin'.

Now I see, they are not 'unique' as they claim.
They start new churches by 'recovery' of old wine (Catholic and other Orthodox churches are older than them, and LSM recovered their believes to make it LSM unique high peak truth) into new wineskin (new legal registration of a 'church' entity)

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Old 09-10-2016, 12:20 AM   #125
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Evangelical referred to the Mormons in his first sentence.
Followed he noted that the Catholic, Orthodox churches have believed this all along.

This believe being 'christians are gods'.

In other posts Evangelical said 'they' (LSM churches) are unique.
He said they start new churches in the principle of 'new wine in new wineskin'.

Now I see, they are not 'unique' as they claim.
They start new churches by 'recovery' of old wine (Catholic and other Orthodox churches are older than them, and LSM recovered their believes to make it LSM unique high peak truth) into new wineskin (new legal registration of a 'church' entity)

In my opinion, I would tend to agree that the recovery is more like the REFORMation , done properly this time. Luther made a step back towards the New Testament by recovering the truth about salvation by faith alone, and the recovery tries to take it back all the way. So it should not surprise us there are commonalities between catholic and the recovery, if they are doctrines that were held by the early church. Another one is purgatory, Lee believes in purgatory.
Protestantism on the other hand threw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.
All protestant churches tried to recover history by quoting early church fathers, but they did not go far enough. Instead, we have protestant churches that have ignored history altogether.
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Old 09-10-2016, 12:25 AM   #126
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(1) Angels are also called sons of God. Are angels ‘gods without the Godhead’?
Genesis 6: 4
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
Job 1: 6
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
Job 38: 7
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

(2) Are there bible verses that say directly that, christians being sons of God are gods?

(3)
Psalm 82: 1
God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. (KJV)
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
God stands in the assembly of the Angels and among the Angels he will judge.

*** Here ‘gods’ in Psalm 82, in Aramaic bible in plain English is ‘angels’.
Yes angels are called sons of God, but are they born again? Were they created in God's image? No, so they are not real sons of God like us.

Nice try but 'angels' can mean human messengers. I have consulted bible commentaries about this and they stand maintain the view they are human judges and rulers, not angels.

We can see from verse 6 that it refers to humans and not angels.
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:45 AM   #127
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Nice try but 'angels' can mean human messengers.
Which verse or chapter makes angels (at least in that instance) out as mere humans? I'd like to look this up.
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:23 AM   #128
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Which verse or chapter makes angels (at least in that instance) out as mere humans? I'd like to look this up.
"Least" has tried to argue that Psalm 82:1 refers to angels and not humans by quoting the Aramaic version (the Syrian or Syriac translated version of the Bible). That is,they are using a version which was translated from Hebrew to Syrian, and then from Syrian to English to try and prove their point. Why not use the Bible versions that go straight from Hebrew to English? Psalm 82:6 makes the context clear, that it refers to humans, not angels. So the Aramaic version is incorrect.

In Pslam 82:1:

It says angels only in one version:
http://biblehub.com/psalms/82-1.htm

The word elohim can mean humans:
http://biblehub.com/hebrew/430.htm

The bible commentaries all say that these 'gods' or 'angels' are people:
http://biblehub.com/commentaries/psalms/82-1.htm

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges addresses the difference between the Aramaic version and the others, on the matter of whether it refers to actual angels or people. You will note the part I highlighted in bold below which shows that interpreting it to mean angels is incorrect:

he judgeth &c.] In the midst of gods (Elôhîm) will he judge. According to the view adopted above, the judges and authorities of Israel are meant by gods. It might indeed be supposed that the poet intended to represent God as holding His court surrounded by angels, like an earthly king in the midst of his courtiers (cp. 1 Kings 22:19; Job 1:2); and so probably the Syriac translator understood the verse: “God standeth in the assembly of the angels, and in the midst of the angels will He judge.” But Elôhîm can hardly have a different meaning from that which it has in Psalm 82:6, where it clearly refers to the judges who are put on their trial; and the address in Psalm 82:2 would be unintelligible if the persons addressed had not already been mentioned.


About the word 'angel' in general:

The word angel comes from the Greek angelos meaning messenger. the word itself does not indicate whether they are supernatural beings or humans. Translators of the bible always consider the context.
Revelation 1:20 is an example of 'angels' meaning church leaders.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:53 AM   #129
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But behind every judge and prince is an angel, a throne, authority, a power. It has double meaning - both angel and human. Both either are allied against God, or for God. The unjust princes were usurped by evil spirits, and both the princes and spirits (powers, authorities) were destroyed. See Genesis 6, Jude 1:6, 2 Peter 2, etc. It has a widespread use in scripture.

See also, with Peter at the gate, "It is his angel", and "Receive the saints for you will entertain angels unawares" and "A man, that is an angel" in Rev 21.

The Angel in Revelation 1:20 has also been called the Spirit. "Blessed are those who hear what the Spirit (Angel) is speaking to the churches". Jesus speaks to the Angel of the church, which is a ministering spirit, which then speaks to the church. The angel is a messenger. That's why there are seven churches, seven angels who stand before the throne, and seven spirits (lamps of fire) burning before the throne.
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:57 AM   #130
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Default Re: What is God's Economy?

aron,

I always get confused by the messenger angel idea. When does God use an angel to talk to us and when does he just talk to us directly, and why would he need both?

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Old 09-10-2016, 10:45 AM   #131
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aron,

I always get confused by the messenger angel idea. When does God use an angel to talk to us and when does he just talk to us directly, and why would he need both?

Signed,
Confused
"I am Gabriel, I stand before God". Angels are messengers. In the text it often is confusing, to us, because the writers often don't clearly delineate as our theological notions would prefer. We like clear-cut, but in the text we see an angel send Philip to the South Road, then the Spirit (ministering spirit?) sends Philip up to a chariot with an Ethiopian eunuch.

The expelled Hagar tells the angel, "Now God has seen His servant's distress", but she isn't speaking to God directly, but to God through the mediatory angel (so I surmise). So John's "seven eyes of God" may be angels. Possibly. God sees the servant Hagar through the servant angel.

And the NT record repeatedly tells us that the law was given through the intermediary agency of angels, but the OT record seems not to indicate this at all.

Anyway, I don't have a clear answer. But to summarily say that the "messenger" of Revelation 1:20 is a man, not an angel, seems a bit presumptuous, and overly hopeful. Our theology may prefer it, because we like our theology neat.

The best I can do is point to the typical narrative structure of the parable in the NT gospel record. A man, a rich man, or a king, had servants, and He (God is the understood allusion) gave them instructions and sent them off. A rich man doesn't do everything for himself, but has agents to do his bidding. God, of course, is very rich, and has tens of thousands, and thousands of thousands of servants, both men, angels, and whatnot (living creatures? Elders?) who all do His will. But the key, here, is not "whether angels or men" but whether clarity or not. Only transparent servants qualify. If we muddy up God's will with our own, we fail. Transparency is key. The eyes of the Lamb are always clear. Look at how the wheel of Ezekiel 1 and the four living creatures in Revelation 4 are full of eyes.

My point is that these messengers tell us about God, and tell God about us. They go back and forth. "Angels ascending and descending."

I am sure I didn't help your confusion and for that I apologize. I'm not sure that the biblical text gives the clarity we'd prefer. But in short I'd say that God, being holy, prefers to use intermediaries. Otherwise we'd get vaporized like smoke.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:53 AM   #132
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As I understand it, angels are not only God's messengers but also... in an non-understandable way... avatars of God. "Avatar" in the sense that the angels are (at least in some instances) more than merely messengers, but rather representatives. Not incarnations, but manifestations (if I may go so far). Manifestations of a part of Him. Like a tool. Yet distinct.

I don't think we can make a clear divide of angels as being only angels, men, or God. It surpasses our understanding. Though perhaps someone can clarify it.

Consider the burning bush out of which God spoke to Moses.

Quote:
Exodus 3:2-4
(2) And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
(3) And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
(4) And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
I have to take a moment and reflect on the awesomeness of this passage. The part where God gives His name is one of the most beautiful in the Old Testament

The angel appeared, yet it was audibly God himself who spoke.

Also consider the passage about Lot escaping Sodom:

Quote:
Genesis 19:13-14
(13) For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
(14) And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
Quote:
Genesis 19:24
(24) Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
Clearly the angels are distinct from, yet more than mere messengers of God. "We" and "us" in verse 13 versus "the LORD" in verse 14 and 24.

On a slightly related note, it's interesting how there were three men who spoke to Abraham (Gen 18:2). Yet when "the men" departed, "the LORD" stayed behind (Gen 18:22, 23). God had to be visible as Abraham "drew near". A manifestation of Jesus? Perhaps the third "man" was Christ while the other two went to Lot? It explains the third one's absence.
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Old 09-11-2016, 01:04 AM   #133
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Angels and humans are actually more similar than we may think.

A human is a human spirit in a human body (Job 32:8).
An angel is a human or human-like spirit without a physical body (Hebrews 1:14).

For some reason God decided to create human or human-like spirits without bodies, and these are the angels. I will avoid saying that we become angels or that angels become humans, because I don't believe that. But I do believe angels and humans are more or less the same thing, just in a different form.

I use the word "human or human-like spirit" tentatively to describe angels, as we can never be sure. Are there different kinds of spirits? But I believe the bible shows that angels are more human than not:

1. angels find humans attractive and can appear physically to have relations with humans (Genesis 6:1-2). This must be because the angel is also human.

2. That the angels are human spirits is the reason that angels can easily take the form of a human and appear like any one of us (Hebrews 13:12).

3. Fallen angels (demons) will seek out human bodies to possess, and if they cannot find one, they might settle for an animal (Matt 8:28-34).

The similarity between angels and humans is remarkable:

Read more at: http://christiananswers.net/q-acb/acb-t005.html
Such expressions as “like the angels” (Luke 20:36), and the fact that whenever angels appeared to man it was always in a human form (Gen. 18:2; 19:1, 10; Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10), and the titles that are applied to them (“sons of God,” Job 1:6; 38:7; Dan. 3:25; compare 28) and to men (Luke 3:38), all seem to indicate some resemblance between them and the human race.
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:06 AM   #134
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Angels and humans are actually more similar than we may think.

A human is a human spirit in a human body (Job 32:8).
An angel is a human or human-like spirit without a physical body (Hebrews 1:14).

For some reason God decided to create human or human-like spirits without bodies, and these are the angels. I will avoid saying that we become angels or that angels become humans, because I don't believe that. But I do believe angels and humans are more or less the same thing, just in a different form.

I use the word "human or human-like spirit" tentatively to describe angels, as we can never be sure. Are there different kinds of spirits? But I believe the bible shows that angels are more human than not:

1. angels find humans attractive and can appear physically to have relations with humans (Genesis 6:1-2). This must be because the angel is also human.

2. That the angels are human spirits is the reason that angels can easily take the form of a human and appear like any one of us (Hebrews 13:12).

3. Fallen angels (demons) will seek out human bodies to possess, and if they cannot find one, they might settle for an animal (Matt 8:28-34).
Interesting points you gave. Yet we are not just "in different forms".

Besides the examples about the Burning Bush and Sodom I gave below, also consider their other abilities, including making people mute and blind, sending disasters over the earth (Revelations) and, at times, having appearances so great that people wanted to worship them.

They are made as ministering spirits for us (Hebrews 1:13-14). They are not our counterparts, even if they share some similarities. They are clearly more than just bodyless people.

People have a lot in common with certain apes. But that just makes them similar, not the same.

I think the question we need to ask is: "What makes us humans?". A soul? A spirit? A body? All of them? Or that we are made in God's image? What else? If we can define a human then we can decide whether angels fit that criteria, otherwise they are merely similar, and (in my opinion obviously) not just bodiless humans.
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:25 AM   #135
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Interesting points you gave. Yet we are not just "in different forms".

Besides the examples about the Burning Bush and Sodom I gave below, also consider their other abilities, including making people mute and blind, sending disasters over the earth (Revelations) and, at times, having appearances so great that people wanted to worship them.

They are made as ministering spirits for us (Hebrews 1:13-14). They are not our counterparts, even if they share some similarities. They are clearly more than just bodyless people.

People have a lot in common with certain apes. But that just makes them similar, not the same.

I think the question we need to ask is: "What makes us humans?". A soul? A spirit? A body? All of them? Or that we are made in God's image? What else? If we can define a human then we can decide whether angels fit that criteria, otherwise they are merely similar, and (in my opinion obviously) not just bodiless humans.
Clearly, angels do not fit that criteria. But angels are described as having human-like features, except for the wings, but wings aren't that biblical (only special classes of angels have wings).

Actually Jesus said that humans will be like angels in this verse:
Mark 12:25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Perhaps humans are just angels who haven't got their wings yet.
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:07 AM   #136
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Actually Jesus said that humans will be like angels in this verse:
Mark 12:25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.
In the context, I think Jesus said that humans in resurrection will be like angels, specifically in the aspect of marriage.

Matthew 22: 28- 30
Sadducees asked: Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

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Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.

Female angels?

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Just a thought:
- Angels do not marry (male angels, female angels)
- Humans do marry (man and woman, multiply and replenish the earth)
- Angels and human women (male angel and female human), produced giants
- Angels (female) and human men (any such thing? - no record of reproduction if there were)
- Angels and humans (male angel, male human), eg Sodom
- Angels and humans (female angel, female human) any such thing?
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:29 AM   #137
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Actually Jesus said that humans will be like angels in this verse:
Mark 12:25 When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

Perhaps humans are just angels who haven't got their wings yet.
"Like". Not "the same". We will still be similar to, but not the same as, the angels.

And this is anyway talking about marriage, not our whole being.
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Old 09-11-2016, 10:47 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Perhaps humans are just angels who haven't got their wings yet.
Perhaps. As I wrote earlier, Origen liked to speculate on such things. But if Origen, writing in the third century CE, had to admit his writings weren't truth but speculation, how much more we all!

Yet Lee liked his theology neat. "A equals B" and "This means that" and "This shows us that." The reason I brought up the subject initially was because the categorical statement, "the messengers in Revelation 1:20 are human, not angelic" seemed too simplistic.

My own take is heavily affected by the notion that behind every physical thing, there was a spiritual one. "As in heaven, so on earth" was Jesus' prayer. So how are we to understand the earth unless we understand "as in heaven"? And Hebrews copied the dictum "See that you make everything on earth according to the heavenly pattern". The same point applies here. The heavenly pattern is central to understanding.

Therefore, to say that a poetic prophetic reference was merely to an earthly, human judge or prince (or in Revelation 1:20, a messenger to a church elder) is to miss the larger narrative, and dive too shallowly. Paul said, "The things that are seen are temporary; the things not seen are eternal". Behind the temporary human action is a spirit. Behind the human messenger is an angelic one. Behind the earthly ruler is an angelic "power".

But how much can we say? Jesus said concerning the little ones, "their angels in heaven are always beholding the face of My Father". Again and again the NT text seems to reference a common understanding that isn't well explicated. The Reformers were right to go with "sola scriptora" and abandon myth, but with angels that leaves us with precious little in the bare text.

So I'll say 3 things:

1. It's probably not as simplistic as Lee taught us.
2. There's not a lot we can say, definitively, concerning what people believed. Too much is alluded to obliquely, for us to say, "This equals that" or "this means that". But there is some very interesting research going on, regarding the surrounding conversation in 2nd Temple Judaism, on such subjects, as how the earthly was a copy of the heavenly realms, and how it might pertain to NT understanding.
3. Personally, what makes the subject germane is this: I see three falls in the OT: first is the fall of "Lucifer", second the fall of humanity in Genesis 3, and third is the fall of the angels referenced in Genesis 6. And note that each fall was in some manner intrinsically connected to (and even dependent upon?) the one which proceeded it. These are not separate subjects but are part of a larger narrative. Also note that Jesus apparently dealt with the 3 falls in the gospels, and the subject of all three was of intense NT interest right up through John's 'Apocalypse.'

But it's unwise to lean too heavily on slender reeds. The writer of 'Ad Hebreo' (To the Hebrews) was very concerned with believers being overly influenced by the discussion of angels, which at some point simply has to veer into unfounded speculation. . . so I think about it, but over time have decided to talk about it less, and try to keep focused on Jesus Christ.
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:20 PM   #139
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I know this topic devolved into discussions of deification long back, and then died altogether a week or so ago.

And I probably should have just left it there.

But this is something that is always on my mind. What is God's Economy.

And when I am confronted with what Paul said when he wrote to Timothy I am unable to find a limited definition of "economy" as adequate to describe the term. I mean, if the whole of the outcome of good and proper teachings is "God's economy" then it is more than "simply" anything.

So I see many teachings provided directly by Jesus:
  • Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Hunger and thirst for righteousness
  • Judge righteously (as opposed to don't judge)
  • Be salt and light
  • Teach the law more diligently that the law that is written (because failing to do so will get you the back of the line)
  • Seek the pearl of great price
  • Be a doer of the word, not just a hearer
  • Be one as the Father and Son are one
And so many more. Just imagine all that those teaching result in.

And then compare that to "it just the dispensing of God into man." You can argue that it could work. If you had God dispensed into you, then all of that could be true.

But it is the result of all of those things that is the whole of "God's economy," not some teaching about "simply the dispensing of God into man" that is the whole of God's economy.

Lee taught that teaching a simplistic version of God's economy was God's economy. Paul taught that the result of all the good teachings was God's economy.

Lee is not even in the same ballpark as Paul. No comparison. Not talking about sort of the same thing.
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:00 AM   #140
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The concept of most Christians is to be a good person and do good things. But the Bible teaches a greater purpose.

God's economy is about conformation to the image of Christ:

Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God;

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

All of those rules and instructions you mentioned have their ultimate purpose in achieving Romans 8:29 and 2 Cor 3:18

2 Cor 3:18 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:54 AM   #141
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All of those rules and instructions you mentioned have their ultimate purpose in achieving Romans 8:29 and 2 Cor 3:18

2 Cor 3:18 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
These are all true verses. But they are not the starting point. They are the result of the things I mentioned. Lee used your verses to declare that you don't have to actually obey and/or do those things, just "behold and reflect." Sounds so simple. But reflecting is to cause the glory of the Lord to go outward. That doesn't happen when we are not actually hungering and thirsting for righteousness, being a doer of the word, loving neighbor as self.

Even you slip and admit that "God's economy" is the result of all those things that I said. Then it must be the result of many good teachings that are not, in themselves, simply "God's economy." That is the fallacy of Lee's use of the term. He used the term as being the teaching and the cause for negating even the teachings of Jesus. And of his more favorite teacher, Paul.

Let me explain my biggest problem with so many of Witness Lee's "simply" statements. Grace is "simply" Jesus. God's economy is "simply" God being dispensed into man.

In some aspects, those statements are true. But they are incomplete. In the case of "God's economy," it is the difference between the vast array of things that make it up and the simplistic statement that it is "simply" anything. The way Lee wields it, it is like declaring that the vast array of formulas and algorithms that make up the field of Physics are declared to be "simply" physics with no need to study and apply the independent formulas, processes, etc. "We don't need E=mc^2!! Just apply Physics!" he would declare.

No longer a need to care for the widow and orphan. No longer a need to care for right and wrong (especially since it is in the "wrong tree"). No longer a requirement for obedience to the law (not the ritual law, but the law that is summed up on love God and love your neighbor as yourself).

Lee works his way around the Bible dismissing things, or declaring them to mean something that the words themselves could not mean, all because of "God's economy." God's economy was the reason he considered James to be mostly an example of what not to do. And the reason that so much of the Psalms are not worthy of our reading, and considered just the natural concept of the writer.

Maybe it is the natural concept of the teacher that dismisses so much of scripture. It surely wasn't something that was actually found in the scripture that allowed for it.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:11 AM   #142
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The concept of most Christians is to be a good person and do good things. But the Bible teaches a greater purpose..
Simply telling a Christian to "be a good person and do good things" is incomplete. It might be burdensome (As the Israelites in the Old Testament have shown, we cannot keep all the commandments by our own strength) or lead to the Christian thinking his salvation is by his good deeds and so become proud.

A more complete message would be to first understand man's sin and God's righteousness, forgiveness and love shown to us. After one has understood these, then be a good person and do good things. This is the pattern of Paul's writings in Romans and Ephesians:- Tell the people what God has done; and then in the second half of these letters, tell the people how they are to live in light of what God has done.

In terms of spelling, the two words (i) God and (ii) Good differ by an alphabet "o". I don't see why there needs to be a distinction between (i) image of God and (ii) good. When we do good (which, has to be judged inwardly and outwardly), we are reflecting God because God is good. (As Jesus said, “No one is good but God alone”)

Perhaps part of the misunderstandings we may have arise from our different understanding of "good"?

For example, in the story of the Good Samaritan, it is obvious that the Samaritan is good, while the people who robbed the traveller are bad.

But what about the people who just walked by? They didn't cause the trouble but they didn't help either. Society is full of such people. We might disagree on whether such people can still be considered "good". Some think that as long as they have not killed or stolen, these people are still “good”. Others like me disagree.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:45 AM   #143
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micah6v8,

I think you are over-analyzing it. To require that someone understand a lot of things (very true things) before one starts to "do" is not supported by the Bible. It says that believers obey. And that obedience is a sign that one believes. To say that one can believe without obeying is sort of contradictory. If you believe but don't obey, do you really believe?
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:50 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by micah6v8 View Post
Simply telling a Christian to "be a good person and do good things" is incomplete. It might be burdensome (As the Israelites in the Old Testament have shown, we cannot keep all the commandments by our own strength) or lead to the Christian thinking his salvation is by his good deeds and so become proud.
So then when Witness Lee talks about "expressing God" that would be equivalent to James reference that we are justified by works in the eyes of man.

Unfortunately Witness Lee made "expressing God" equivalent to "prophesying" and then "prophesying" became equivalent to reading footnotes in a meeting. All you have to do to express God in Witness Lee's theology is to buy his book and then read a short quote during a meeting.
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:44 PM   #145
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Yes, this is a point I also share: - Expressing God is showing an attribute of God (e.g. his love/righteousness). When we love others or live a righteous life, we are expressing God.

Expressing God does not mean expressing your understanding of God. That would involve some sleight of hand in defining things.

For the avoidance of doubt, I believe it is a good thing to share your understanding of God with others; it may help to edify them. But definitions should not be twisted).
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Old 09-28-2016, 04:56 PM   #146
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micah6v8, I think you are over-analyzing it..
I agree with you that Christians are to trust and obey God even when they do not understand. After all, we are men with finite knowledge and understanding. We do not see the big picture as God does.

I also believe that when we understand what God has done for us, we will have the ability to carry out God's commands.

Eg if I am merely asked to love my neighbour, it would be a burdensome command.

But if I know that I have been loved much by my Saviour, loving my neighbour is no longer burdensome.

We love because we have been loved.

Similarly, it is easier to forgive others when we know how much we have been forgiven.

As mentioned in my earlier posts, Paul's words are often phrased in terms of telling us what God has done for us before telling us how to live in light of what God has done.

As to whether it is possible to believe without obeying, I have not formed any firm thoughts on this. I have friends who smoke, but I believe that if I asked them, they would agree that smoking is harmful to your body.

I think some theologians believe that it is possible to have intellectual assent without being convicted in the heart.

Even if we are convicted in our heart, sometimes the flesh is weak

What do you make of the verse "For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing."?
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:05 PM   #147
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These are all true verses. But they are not the starting point...
OBW,

In many ways simplicity is more advantageous than complexity. The simplicity of Christ, that we should be like innocent children, that we should
be like Mary not Martha, these are all examples of simplicity.

In nature are many examples of big things coming from simplicity. Trees grow from a simple seed, etc.


Regarding obedience, I'm thinking that your understanding of God's economy falls short and leads you to believe it is somehow against obedience or does not follow obedience.

God's economy is basically trusting and obeying God, by God dispensing Himself into us.

Everyone who has been saved, has been saved because of their obedience to the gospel. So obedience precedes God's economy.

Subsequently, when God's economy causes that person to obey God in some matter or do some good work, that is obedience as a result of God's economy.

If a person obeys God, God will dispense more of Himself into them, therefore this is obedience preceding God's economy.

We can see that God's dispensing is a continual flow or two-way thing between man and God.

It was only a few weeks ago actually that in the meeting we discussed the importance of obedience to God.

"Not caring for right or wrong" - is in the context for obeying God. In other words we obey God not by our own effort of following rules, legalistically, but by following the Spirit.

In the bible some people accused Paul of teaching licentiousness because he emphasized grace. Lee did not teach licentiousness, rather he emphasized God's economy over human effort. The cause of both licentiousness and legalism is in fact our fallen human nature. The solution is God's economy.
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:28 PM   #148
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So then when Witness Lee talks about "expressing God" that would be equivalent to James reference that we are justified by works in the eyes of man.

Unfortunately Witness Lee made "expressing God" equivalent to "prophesying" and then "prophesying" became equivalent to reading footnotes in a meeting. All you have to do to express God in Witness Lee's theology is to buy his book and then read a short quote during a meeting.
This is not true at all.

When Lee talks about expressing God he often refers to God's nature and character such as love, life, light, holiness etc. And expressing God is not for justification to anyone, it is God's plan and purpose for mankind. We are not a complete and normal human being unless we are expressing God.

Prophesying is not about reading Lee's words but about providing something from ones own inspiration according to the leading of the Spirit. In the meetings people are discouraged from merely repeating Lee's words.
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:47 PM   #149
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Simply telling a Christian to "be a good person and do good things" is incomplete. It might be burdensome (As the Israelites in the Old Testament have shown, we cannot keep all the commandments by our own strength) or lead to the Christian thinking his salvation is by his good deeds and so become proud.

A more complete message would be to first understand man's sin and God's righteousness, forgiveness and love shown to us. After one has understood these, then be a good person and do good things. This is the pattern of Paul's writings in Romans and Ephesians:- Tell the people what God has done; and then in the second half of these letters, tell the people how they are to live in light of what God has done.

In terms of spelling, the two words (i) God and (ii) Good differ by an alphabet "o". I don't see why there needs to be a distinction between (i) image of God and (ii) good. When we do good (which, has to be judged inwardly and outwardly), we are reflecting God because God is good. (As Jesus said, “No one is good but God alone”)

Perhaps part of the misunderstandings we may have arise from our different understanding of "good"?

For example, in the story of the Good Samaritan, it is obvious that the Samaritan is good, while the people who robbed the traveller are bad.

But what about the people who just walked by? They didn't cause the trouble but they didn't help either. Society is full of such people. We might disagree on whether such people can still be considered "good". Some think that as long as they have not killed or stolen, these people are still “good”. Others like me disagree.
Christ's obedience to His Father was because He was the Son of God and not to make Him the Son of God. His character and his person was the primary thing.

So I agree that goodness is equivalent to bearing God's image because God is good. Being conformed to the image of Christ is God's ultimate purpose for mankind, this high purpose is also prevalent in early christian writings. This was the meaning of life that the early Christians had, and an intense desire to be with the Lord. Whatever we do to become like God can be considered a good work.

The primary good work that God wants us to do is to believe in Jesus:
John 6:29 Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

They had just asked him what they had to do in verse 28. Jesus said well, the main thing you have to do is believe in me. To obey God means to believe in Christ.

Today the concept of most Christians is merely to go to heaven when they die and to do good things for other people. For this purpose there are many churches and organizations that cater to individual needs and do social work. They miss the heart of the Bible and God's purpose which is to be like Him. These churches pay little attention to sitting at Jesus's feet and learning from Him, and they put good works above good character.

When most Christians read Genesis they don't see Genesis 1:27 as the most important thing (being like God), they only see the 7 day creation story.
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Old 09-29-2016, 05:11 AM   #150
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This is not true at all.

When Lee talks about expressing God he often refers to God's nature and character such as love, life, light, holiness etc. And expressing God is not for justification to anyone, it is God's plan and purpose for mankind. We are not a complete and normal human being unless we are expressing God.

Prophesying is not about reading Lee's words but about providing something from ones own inspiration according to the leading of the Spirit. In the meetings people are discouraged from merely repeating Lee's words.
Witness Lee has said very clearly that the "expression of Christ is the Body". How do you build up the Body?

We also have a good hymnal and a number of good books, such as Truth Lessons, Life Lessons, the Life-study Messages, The Experience of Life, The Economy of God, and The All-Inclusive Christ. We may bring any of these books to the meeting, and when we open them, something marvelous will be there. We do not necessarily need to speak starting from the first section of a chapter, but we can use any page. We may “play ball” from any section. In a meeting you may say, “Let us read a section of Life Lessons concerning the two aspects of the Spirit.” Or you may say, “Let us speak the nine titles of the Spirit as listed in this section.” (WL, Speaking Christ for the Building up of the Body of Christ, Chapter 10, Sect 4)

All of us can speak. We have the Bible, a hymnal, the Life-study Messages, and other spiritual publications to speak. If we spoke a Life-study Message together, this would make the best message full of the divine riches and the refreshing utterances. (WL, Speaking Christ for the Building up of the Body of Christ, Chapter 4, Sect 5)
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:13 PM   #151
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Witness Lee has said very clearly that the "expression of Christ is the Body". How do you build up the Body?

We also have a good hymnal and a number of good books, such as Truth Lessons, Life Lessons, the Life-study Messages, The Experience of Life, The Economy of God, and The All-Inclusive Christ. We may bring any of these books to the meeting, and when we open them, something marvelous will be there. We do not necessarily need to speak starting from the first section of a chapter, but we can use any page. We may “play ball” from any section. In a meeting you may say, “Let us read a section of Life Lessons concerning the two aspects of the Spirit.” Or you may say, “Let us speak the nine titles of the Spirit as listed in this section.” (WL, Speaking Christ for the Building up of the Body of Christ, Chapter 10, Sect 4)

All of us can speak. We have the Bible, a hymnal, the Life-study Messages, and other spiritual publications to speak. If we spoke a Life-study Message together, this would make the best message full of the divine riches and the refreshing utterances. (WL, Speaking Christ for the Building up of the Body of Christ, Chapter 4, Sect 5)

We can speak from any of the messages, and even speaking the message has some value. But if you read the whole book from the beginning, it is clear that Lee wants us to know the Word of God and pray.

chapter 1:
The word is the holy word revealed in the Scriptures, either the constant Word or the instant word. If we are going to be the speaking ones in our meetings, we must let the word of Christ dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16). The riches of Christ are in His word. The word of the Lord must have adequate room within us that it may operate and minister these riches into our being. Then our speaking of the word in the meetings will be an exhibition of the riches of Christ.


So your argument that "all you have to do is quote Lee" is not true at all. Quoting Lee has some value but everyone is encouraged to speak from the Word in their heart. Many times myself and others in a meeting have not quoted Lee at all in our messages.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:57 AM   #152
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We can speak from any of the messages, and even speaking the message has some value. But if you read the whole book from the beginning, it is clear that Lee wants us to know the Word of God and pray.

chapter 1:
The word is the holy word revealed in the Scriptures, either the constant Word or the instant word. If we are going to be the speaking ones in our meetings, we must let the word of Christ dwell in us richly (Col. 3:16). The riches of Christ are in His word. The word of the Lord must have adequate room within us that it may operate and minister these riches into our being. Then our speaking of the word in the meetings will be an exhibition of the riches of Christ.


So your argument that "all you have to do is quote Lee" is not true at all. Quoting Lee has some value but everyone is encouraged to speak from the Word in their heart. Many times myself and others in a meeting have not quoted Lee at all in our messages.
Yes, you have proven over and over again that one quote from Lee can contradict another quote from Lee.

In one place he says we may bring any one of his books to a meeting, open it and speak from it. In another place he says:

It is shameful to collect materials from others' books and then pass them on to the children of God. What we pass on to the children of God must be something we have seen. (Witness Lee, The Visions of Ezekiel, chapter 1, section 4)

In one place Lee warns that using the term "deification" can be interpreted as "pagan, idolatrous, and heretical" and therefore the Orthodox Christians who used this term were wrong. In another place he tells us it is OK for him to use this term because the Orthodox Christians used it years ago.

In one place Lee tells us the US is "the great eagle" the place where the believers can flee to during the great tribulation. In another he tells us that legalized marriage for gays makes it Sodom and will bring down God's judgement on it.

In one place he teaches very detailed account of how to thoroughly deal with sins. In another place he wants to just "move on" and "forget" the "ancient history" of his sins.

You yourself said it was absolutely not true that Lee taught that quoting Lee in a meeting was the exercise of the spirit, the way to build the body and express Christ. But then when you see that he did teach that it doesn't matter because he also quoted Colossians 3:16. Now the fact that he was doing spiritual gymnastics to equate Colossians 3:16 with quoting his books in the church doesn't bother you at all. Of course not.

You see if Witness Lee doesn't teach "to worship him" then it is OK with you if he teaches that he is being deified. See, he didn't use the expression "worship me". He did say that we could worship God by buying his books and speaking them during worship services, but he never said to "worship him". He did say that all other Christian teachers lacked his special vision, that he alone was teaching the up to date vision, and that his close relationship to Watchman Nee made him "the minister of the Age". If you read these messages you will see that he actually warns that we should not quote anyone else during the meeting. (I provide a quote from these messages below) But, quoting him is a spiritual exercise. But that doesn't mean he was teaching another Jesus. Sure, he used the fact that Moses was a type of Jesus to support his MOTA teaching, basically saying that Moses was a type of Watchman Nee and by extension himself.

No I get what you are saying. I repudiate it. I reject it. But you have made yourself very clear. 9 people on the Supreme court have decided that 350 million people in the US live in Sodom. In Abraham's time God couldn't find 10 righteous people in Sodom so He judged it, today you find 9 unrighteous people in the US so you judge it. Who made you God? Oh yeah, right, it was Witness Lee.

We should avoid quoting things from books without spiritual weight. Many times people like to quote from others’ books in their speaking because they think that these quotations can strengthen or confirm their points. They also may quote others to strengthen or confirm that they are learned and knowledgeable. We do not need to make such a show of our knowledge of others’ books. To refer to others’ books is a risk. We may bring in things that are not according to the truth or that are not constructive. Our speaking with wrong quotations from others’ books may distract others and destroy our intention to build up the church. To bring in quotations from other books may even create dissension, so we have to be careful when we quote others’ writings. (Witness Lee, Speaking Christ for the Building up of the Body of Christ, chapter 10, section 3)
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Old 09-30-2016, 05:51 AM   #153
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"Yes, you have proven over and over again that one quote from Lee can contradict another quote from Lee."
-- How true!

In one place Lee encourages different brothers around the Recovery to write and publish the word of God, ministering all the riches. In another place he tells us that we need a One Publication Policy throughout all the Local Churches and only LSM can publish.

Thus the troublesome GLA and Brazil were conveniently eliminated from "God's people."

Was Lee god, or maybe just a fickle dictator?
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Old 09-30-2016, 09:23 AM   #154
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The simplicity of Christ, that we should be like innocent children, that we should be like Mary not Martha, these are all examples of simplicity.
Do you think that the comment about Mary v Martha was a universal statement about what Mary did in this one instance v anything that anyone ever does concerning things like what Martha was doing? If you do think that, then you are lost in a context-less world. Ambiguity is your friend.

The comment to Martha about Mary was not a condemnation of what Martha did, but a recognition that the thing that Mary was doing in this particular instance was not to be disdained and set aside for the purpose of other things.
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:51 AM   #155
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OBW,

"Not caring for right or wrong" - is in the context for obeying God. In other words we obey God not by our own effort of following rules, legalistically, but by following the Spirit.
A believer's relationship with God is tested when things are not going well in his life.

He may be at a struggle to understand why God is letting this thing happen to him. His emotions may be at a turmoil.

In such a situation, simply telling him to "follow the Spirit" is not helpful.

To quote an article I read, he may have the following expressions

“I feel so spiritually dry right now.”
“Why can’t I hear God’s voice?”
“I’m unable to feel God’s presence in my life.”

If on the other hand, he is certain of God's presence, then he may end up following his own sinful desires, and pursue a sinful course of action which he may mistakenly attribute it to the Spirit's leading.

God's word is unchanging. God's standards of "right and wrong" do not change despite our emotions.

The believer should be guided by what God has said to be "right and wrong". That is how we tell he is trusting God:- when he is obeying the bible even when things are not going well and he does not understand why this is happening to him.
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Old 10-01-2016, 06:04 AM   #156
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This is not true at all.

When Lee talks about expressing God he often refers to God's nature and character such as love, life, light, holiness etc. And expressing God is not for justification to anyone, it is God's plan and purpose for mankind. We are not a complete and normal human being unless we are expressing God.
I am curious to know in which books did Lee say that expressing God is in the context of God's nature and character.

In Chapter 3 section 3 of "The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christ", Witness Lee talks about exhibiting Christ. But as I mentioned earlier, he seems to equate that to prophesying. He talks about brothers sharing "in a way that is full of the natural life and the natural concept...that have nothing to do with the Body of Christ."

http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.c...=SWTWXG6ZBLGO7
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Old 10-01-2016, 09:59 AM   #157
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In Chapter 3 section 3 of "The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christ", Witness Lee talks about exhibiting Christ. But as I mentioned earlier, he seems to equate that to prophesying. He talks about brothers sharing "in a way that is full of the natural life and the natural concept...that have nothing to do with the Body of Christ."
I think you are onto something here.

To express Christ is not to talk about him in a better way. It is not to separate from the world in a meeting and "share the riches of Christ" which is essentially a lot of talking.

Good or bad, talking is not really expressing Christ. Unless it is simply that in our speaking we are speaking as Christ would in the circumstances.

Expressing Christ is in our living. At work. At home. In the marketplace. On the streets.

It is mostly NOT about saying things about Christ. It is about living as Christ would live. Speaking in normal conversation as Christ would speak.

I am not precluding the possibility of speaking about Christ, whether in an evangelistic effort of some kind, or in one-on-one conversation that turns in that manner. But I think that we are mostly focused on speaking about Christ in either some kind of evangelistic effort or when grouped together in some kind of Christian fellowship or meeting, when that is actually the small part of our lives. That seems to consider that "expressing Christ" is mostly irrelevant in our daily living.

And it shows. We feel "free in Christ" to thumb our nose at the rules. I remember a time when an elder was speaking in a meeting about a certain brother (leading one) essentially using the example of his disregard for rules as a good example of "plundering Egypt." Go to a restaurant, order something with "no substitutions" on the menu and always ask for a substitution. (Not very significant, but an example of character.)

Did work for the "saints" and asked them to pay him through the offering box. A gift. Tax free. Plundering Egypt. (They didn't proclaim that one, but I know that it happened.)

Even when I was there, those kinds of things did not impress me positively. Before I left, I already had a negative opinion of that brother. (and he was eventually "run off" in a sense over finances.) It seemed to me to be more like not being faithful in small things. And in some not-so-small things.

This is where we express Christ. In our living.
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Old 10-01-2016, 10:17 AM   #158
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"Not caring for right or wrong" - is in the context for obeying God. In other words we obey God not by our own effort of following rules, legalistically, but by following the Spirit.
It is a convenient assumption that the Spirit is not, by definition, behind our willingness to obey the rules as we read them. As if we should not ever read a rule in the Bible and intend to obey it, but should expect it to just flow from the Spirit.

Do I presume then that for someone who lived a life of adultery, that upon being saved he/she should not simply stop it because the Bible says so, but should instead wait for the Spirit to speak to them concerning it? I bet you would declare that surely the spirit would speak on this matter.

But not on the others? If you are a Christian and you see it written that your should [fill in the blank], you should do some spiritual gymnastics until you really feel like you are not doing it from the Spirit? Or is it sufficient to understand that the words are Spirit and upon hearing them that the desire to follow is likewise Spirit, and you are therefore empowered to do it. Doesn't mean that you will successfully do it always. But you cannot excuse not even trying on a lack of Spirit since even Peter declared that you have everything you need for it.

This whole idea of people "doing it in themselves" is mostly an excuse for not even trying instead of trying an sometimes failing. Surely the world does everything, even good, "in themselves." But if you are of Christ, Christ is in you. You have no excuse. There is nothing more you need before you at least try.

An invitation for stumbling otherwise good believers. Invite them to not live the righteous life that God commands and instead live a less-than-righteous life. Seems that Jesus spoke about people teaching that doing less than all of the law as being so offensive that those teachers would find themselves at the bottom of the heap in the Kingdom.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:28 PM   #159
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It is a convenient assumption that the Spirit is not, by definition, behind our willingness to obey the rules as we read them. As if we should not ever read a rule in the Bible and intend to obey it, but should expect it to just flow from the Spirit.

Do I presume then that for someone who lived a life of adultery, that upon being saved he/she should not simply stop it because the Bible says so, but should instead wait for the Spirit to speak to them concerning it? I bet you would declare that surely the spirit would speak on this matter.

But not on the others? If you are a Christian and you see it written that your should [fill in the blank], you should do some spiritual gymnastics until you really feel like you are not doing it from the Spirit? Or is it sufficient to understand that the words are Spirit and upon hearing them that the desire to follow is likewise Spirit, and you are therefore empowered to do it. Doesn't mean that you will successfully do it always. But you cannot excuse not even trying on a lack of Spirit since even Peter declared that you have everything you need for it.

This whole idea of people "doing it in themselves" is mostly an excuse for not even trying instead of trying an sometimes failing. Surely the world does everything, even good, "in themselves." But if you are of Christ, Christ is in you. You have no excuse. There is nothing more you need before you at least try.

An invitation for stumbling otherwise good believers. Invite them to not live the righteous life that God commands and instead live a less-than-righteous life. Seems that Jesus spoke about people teaching that doing less than all of the law as being so offensive that those teachers would find themselves at the bottom of the heap in the Kingdom.
OBW, try for what reason? God has already saved us by His grace, we cannot add to it or take away from it. God does not save us by grace half way and expect us to do the rest ourselves. God sending his Son to die for us on the cross was 100% God and 0% us and that doesn't change after salvation. We are fooling ourselves if we think that we can add to that. There are possibly people who try their hardest and are more righteous according to the Law than those that do not rely on themselves. But this is what the Bible calls self-righteousness.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:37 PM   #160
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I am curious to know in which books did Lee say that expressing God is in the context of God's nature and character.

In Chapter 3 section 3 of "The Intrinsic View of the Body of Christ", Witness Lee talks about exhibiting Christ. But as I mentioned earlier, he seems to equate that to prophesying. He talks about brothers sharing "in a way that is full of the natural life and the natural concept...that have nothing to do with the Body of Christ."

http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.c...=SWTWXG6ZBLGO7

See "THE SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF THE INDWELLING CHRIST", "CHRIST MAKING HIS HOME IN OUR MIND, EMOTION, AND WILL".

You are right that it includes prophesying. Our speaking, attitude, reactions, thoughts, opinions, intents, desires, character, etc, should all be expressing Christ which is expressing God.

If you Google "GOD’S NATURE BEING DISPENSED INTO US FOR OUR LIVING IN SPIRIT, LOVE, AND LIGHT" you will find something about God's love and light as well. All of these are contained in Christ.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:41 PM   #161
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A believer's relationship with God is tested when things are not going well in his life.

He may be at a struggle to understand why God is letting this thing happen to him. His emotions may be at a turmoil.

In such a situation, simply telling him to "follow the Spirit" is not helpful.

To quote an article I read, he may have the following expressions

“I feel so spiritually dry right now.”
“Why can’t I hear God’s voice?”
“I’m unable to feel God’s presence in my life.”

If on the other hand, he is certain of God's presence, then he may end up following his own sinful desires, and pursue a sinful course of action which he may mistakenly attribute it to the Spirit's leading.

God's word is unchanging. God's standards of "right and wrong" do not change despite our emotions.

The believer should be guided by what God has said to be "right and wrong". That is how we tell he is trusting God:- when he is obeying the bible even when things are not going well and he does not understand why this is happening to him.
Well, you've obviously missed something important - following the Spirit is the same thing as following the Word. The Word is the Spirit. When we say follow the Spirit, we mean read the Bible and pray, basically. A good reference on this would be "Christ versus Religion, by Witness Lee", section titled "THE WORD IS THE SPIRIT,
AND THE SPIRIT IS THE WORD".

The alternative to this is to try and obey with our own effort, that does not involve prayer or involves merely Bible reading without touching the Spirit. This is what Lee means by not living according to "right vs wrong".
Lee is not proposing that we do not try and follow what is plainly written in the Bible, and just seek after some spiritual experience. He is stressing the importance of spiritual fellowship with God for obedience rather than trying in our own self.

Example: We read in the Bible where it says we have to obey in some matter. Recognizing our lack of strength to obey in ourselves, we may pray and ask the Lord to give us the ability to obey. This is an example of following the Spirit.

A person living according to "right vs wrong", will read the Bible and know they have to obey in some matter, but they will not ask the Lord to give them the ability. They may not pray at all. They may even ask the Lord to make them a more obedient person in themselves, but this is a dead-letter kind of prayer.
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:15 PM   #162
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Do you think that the comment about Mary v Martha was a universal statement about what Mary did in this one instance v anything that anyone ever does concerning things like what Martha was doing? If you do think that, then you are lost in a context-less world. Ambiguity is your friend.

The comment to Martha about Mary was not a condemnation of what Martha did, but a recognition that the thing that Mary was doing in this particular instance was not to be disdained and set aside for the purpose of other things.
OBW, by saying it was a "recognition that the thing that Mary was doing in this particular instance was not to be disdained and set aside for the purpose of other things", you have basically confirmed what the Lord's Recovery is all about. Just as Mary's sitting at Jesus feet was better than "much serving", the Lord's Recovery is better in the Lord's eyes than any social or help the poor program because it focuses on the better thing.

So if we criticize the Lord's Recovery for merely sitting at Jesus's feet, preaching the Word, waiting on the Spirit, and perhaps not doing as much social things as other churches, then the Lord would say to us "Leave them alone, they have chosen what is better".
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:32 PM   #163
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Yes, you have proven over and over again that one quote from Lee can contradict another quote from Lee.

In one place he says we may bring any one of his books to a meeting, open it and speak from it. In another place he says:

It is shameful to collect materials from others' books and then pass them on to the children of God. What we pass on to the children of God must be something we have seen. (Witness Lee, The Visions of Ezekiel, chapter 1, section 4)

In one place Lee warns that using the term "deification" can be interpreted as "pagan, idolatrous, and heretical" and therefore the Orthodox Christians who used this term were wrong. In another place he tells us it is OK for him to use this term because the Orthodox Christians used it years ago.

In one place Lee tells us the US is "the great eagle" the place where the believers can flee to during the great tribulation. In another he tells us that legalized marriage for gays makes it Sodom and will bring down God's judgement on it.

In one place he teaches very detailed account of how to thoroughly deal with sins. In another place he wants to just "move on" and "forget" the "ancient history" of his sins.

You yourself said it was absolutely not true that Lee taught that quoting Lee in a meeting was the exercise of the spirit, the way to build the body and express Christ. But then when you see that he did teach that it doesn't matter because he also quoted Colossians 3:16. Now the fact that he was doing spiritual gymnastics to equate Colossians 3:16 with quoting his books in the church doesn't bother you at all. Of course not.

You see if Witness Lee doesn't teach "to worship him" then it is OK with you if he teaches that he is being deified. See, he didn't use the expression "worship me". He did say that we could worship God by buying his books and speaking them during worship services, but he never said to "worship him". He did say that all other Christian teachers lacked his special vision, that he alone was teaching the up to date vision, and that his close relationship to Watchman Nee made him "the minister of the Age". If you read these messages you will see that he actually warns that we should not quote anyone else during the meeting. (I provide a quote from these messages below) But, quoting him is a spiritual exercise. But that doesn't mean he was teaching another Jesus. Sure, he used the fact that Moses was a type of Jesus to support his MOTA teaching, basically saying that Moses was a type of Watchman Nee and by extension himself.

No I get what you are saying. I repudiate it. I reject it. But you have made yourself very clear. 9 people on the Supreme court have decided that 350 million people in the US live in Sodom. In Abraham's time God couldn't find 10 righteous people in Sodom so He judged it, today you find 9 unrighteous people in the US so you judge it. Who made you God? Oh yeah, right, it was Witness Lee.

We should avoid quoting things from books without spiritual weight. Many times people like to quote from others’ books in their speaking because they think that these quotations can strengthen or confirm their points. They also may quote others to strengthen or confirm that they are learned and knowledgeable. We do not need to make such a show of our knowledge of others’ books. To refer to others’ books is a risk. We may bring in things that are not according to the truth or that are not constructive. Our speaking with wrong quotations from others’ books may distract others and destroy our intention to build up the church. To bring in quotations from other books may even create dissension, so we have to be careful when we quote others’ writings. (Witness Lee, Speaking Christ for the Building up of the Body of Christ, chapter 10, section 3)
ZNPaaneah,

on the topic of gay marriage, your argument about the 9 or 10 doesn't stick, because I have already quoted statistics which show the majority of the American population supports it. It is on this basis that America is Sodom, and not merely because of the 9 or 10 law makers or judges.

Perhaps I can flip this around the other way. If America is not Sodom, then what city or country in the bible is best used as a metaphor to describe America today? Is it Jerusalem? It could possible be Tyre, the center of commercialism.
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:06 AM   #164
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OBW, by saying it was a "recognition that the thing that Mary was doing in this particular instance was not to be disdained and set aside for the purpose of other things", you have basically confirmed what the Lord's Recovery is all about. Just as Mary's sitting at Jesus feet was better than "much serving", the Lord's Recovery is better in the Lord's eyes than any social or help the poor program because it focuses on the better thing.

So if we criticize the Lord's Recovery for merely sitting at Jesus's feet, preaching the Word, waiting on the Spirit, and perhaps not doing as much social things as other churches, then the Lord would say to us "Leave them alone, they have chosen what is better".
I must say, Evangelical, this is rich. But, to be blunt, who do you think you're talking to? Maybe you're going for satire?

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Old 10-09-2016, 02:11 AM   #165
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I must say, Evangelical, this is rich. But, to be blunt, who do you think you're talking to? Maybe you're going for satire?

Nell
Hi Nell, I'm talking to the liberal socialist Christians that are in this forum.
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:06 AM   #166
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Hi Nell, I'm talking to the liberal socialist Christians that are in this forum.
Ah! Satire it is.

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