How can we be delivered out of the reigning of sin and death? It is not by our struggling and striving; rather, it is through the all-inclusive death of Christ that we allow the life of Christ to reign in us instead of sin and death. Thus, it is no longer sin and death that reign in us; rather, it is grace and life that reign in us Galatians says, "I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. Read Galatians again. We have seen that Christ bore our sins on the cross. Now we see that He also bore our very person on the cross.
He has become a substitute for our sins as well as our person. On that day on the cross, there were not only our sins, but also our person. God has included both our sins and our person in Christ. When Christ was crucified, so were we. If we see this one point, the rest will be clear.
A hymn describes well this fact: I am crucified with Christ,And the cross hath set me free;I have ris'n again with Christ,And He lives and reigns in me. Hymns, , verse 1 Watchman Nee, Christian Faith, When the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross, not only did He die for the sinners, opening a living way for sinners to obtain eternal life and to come to God, He also died with the sinners on the cross.
If the effectiveness of the cross were merely in the aspect of substitution so that sinners would have eternal life and be saved from perdition, God's way of salvation would not be complete. This is because a person who is saved by believing in Jesus Christ see Acts 16 still lives in this world; there are still many temptations. Moreover, the devil often cheats him, and the sinful nature within him operates continually.
Although he has received salvation, he is not yet free from sin in this age. He does not have the power to overcome sin. Therefore, in His salvation the Lord Jesus had to accomplish both aspects: to save man from the punishment of sin and also to save man from the power of sin. When the Lord Jesus died for the sinners on the cross, He delivered man from the punishment of sin --the eternal fire of hell. When the Lord Jesus died with the sinners on the cross, He delivered man from the power of sin --the old man is dead, and he is no longer a slave of sin.
Sin does not come from without but from within. If sin were to come from without, then it would not have much power over us. Sin dwells in us. Therefore, it is deadly to us. Temptation comes from without, while sin dwells within. Since everyone in the world is a descendant of Adam, everyone has Adam's nature. This nature is aged, old, corrupted, and filthy; it is a nature of sin. Since this "mother" of sin is within man, when outside temptations come, that which is within responds to that which is without, and the result is the many sins.
Because we have pride inside though hidden at times , as soon as outside temptation comes, the opportunity to be proud comes, and we become proud. Because we have jealousy inside, as soon as outside temptation comes, we see others better than we are, and we become jealous. Because we have a quick temper inside, as soon as outside temptation comes, we lose our temper. All the sins that man commits come from the old man within. This old man is truly worthless, irreparable, unchangeable, incorrigible, and incurable.
The way God deals with the old man is to crucify him. God wants to give us something new. The old man has to die. God's words charge us to wash away all of our sins in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus. The Bible never tells us that the old man within is to be washed. God's word never says that the old man should be washed.
The blood of Jesus Christ washes our sins, not the old man. The old man needs to be crucified. This is the word of the Bible. God does everything in this age through the Lord Jesus Christ. He needs to punish sinners, yet He punished the Lord Jesus instead because the Lord Jesus stood in the position and on behalf of sinners. God wants the old man to die, but He caused the Lord Jesus to die on the cross instead. By doing so, He brought all the sinners along with the Lord onto the cross.
First there is a substituting death, then a participating death. This is the clear word of the Bible. Jesus Christ is the One who "died on behalf of all; therefore all died. The result is "that the body of sin might be made of none effect. Formerly, the body of sin functioned daily according to the old man's order. It seemed as if to sin had become its occupation. All it did was commit sins. The old man loved sin exceedingly; it wanted to sin, craved for sin, and was fond of doing sinful things; the body followed after the old man to sin and became the body of sin.
Now after the old man is dealt with by the Lord and is crucified, the body of sin becomes unemployed; there is no more work for it to do. When the old man was alive, it was the profession and the occupation of the body of sin to commit sins every day. Thank the Lord, this hopeless old man has been crucified! The body of sin has also lost its job! Even though sin still exists and still tries to be the master, yet I am no longer its slave. Although time and again sin tries to energize the body to commit sin, it cannot break through because the Holy Spirit has become the Master within the new man.
As a result, sin is unable to activate the body to commit sin anymore. Hence, the goal of the crucifixion of the old man and the unemployment of the body of sin in Romans is that "we should no longer serve sin as slaves. What overcomes Satan is not the cross but the blood. Satan knew that if his poison were injected into the first couple, this poison would spread to all their descendants. Satan committed spiritual fornication with our forefather and put this sinful poison of lying into his soul.
The life of the soul is in the blood. Man's life is passed on through the blood Acts Consequently, the sinful poison of this first couple has passed on to us through the blood. Christ's blood has no poison; it is precious and incorruptible. He bore the sins of many on the cross and died, emptying all of His blood. When He resurrected from the dead, He was without blood. After His resurrection He had bones and flesh, but no blood. In Christ, our blood has been poured out. Satan has no ground to work in us.
Christ's blood has destroyed and dealt with Satan and all he has. Our sins need Christ's death. The substitutionary death of Christ abolished all the records of our sins before God. The representative death of Christ, the Head, has delivered us from our sins. Christ's death accomplishes God's two goals and solves God's two problems. This is Christ's victory. This victory has already been accomplished. God keeps us on the earth to maintain this victory and to preach it to every creature Col.
Our baptism and the breaking of bread are to display the victory of Christ's death to the angels, the devil, the nations, and all things. He joined Himself to fallen and sinful humanity, yet He was without sin Heb. We realize from the Word that flesh is not something good but something bad. John says that God became flesh John , 14 , but Romans tells us that Jesus was only in the likeness of the flesh of sin. The Son of God did indeed become flesh; however, He was only in the likeness of the flesh and had no participation in the sin of the flesh 2 Cor.
This is exactly like the brass serpent lifted up by Moses for the sinful Israelites, which was in the form, the likeness, of the actual serpent, but without its poison. Jesus died on the cross as the brass serpent to condemn sin in the flesh Rom. Through His death on the cross, the flesh of sin was condemned, the old serpent, Satan, was destroyed, the power of death was judged, and even death itself was destroyed.
The world was also destroyed on the cross. His death on the cross as the Lamb of God took away sin with sins. His death on the cross as a serpent was to judge the flesh of sin, to destroy the old serpent, Satan, to condemn the world, and to destroy the power of death. In the eyes of God He was sin. Second Corinthians tells us that God made Him sin on our behalf. God condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus. Witness Lee, Divine Economy, John tells us that Jesus also died on the cross as a serpent: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.
When the Lord Jesus died on the cross, He was in the form of the serpent in the eyes of God. This is because we sinners have all become serpents. We all have been poisoned by the old serpent, Satan. When the children of Israel sinned against God, they were bitten by serpents Num. God told Moses to lift up a brass serpent on their behalf for God's judgment, that by looking upon that brass serpent all may live. As descendants of Adam, we have been poisoned by the old serpent, and the serpent's nature is within us.
After the Lord told the disciples that He had to pass through suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection, Peter "began to rebuke Him, saying, God be merciful to You, Lord; this shall by no means happen to You! Even when Peter was loving the Lord Jesus, he was a serpent. The Lord rebuked him by calling him Satan. Not only when we do evil things but also when we do good things, we may be like Satan.
Satan is the rebellious one against God, and this rebellious nature of Satan is in our fallen nature. When we do bad things, we are against God. When we do good things, we may also be rebellious against God. It is not a matter of bad or good, but a matter of our nature. According to our fallen nature, we all are serpents.
The serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness was a brass serpent. It had the form of the serpent without the poison of the serpent. We all have the flesh of sin, and we are still living in the flesh of sin. This flesh of sin in God's eyes is a serpent because in the nature of the flesh of sin is the evil nature of Satan. The flesh of sin in nature is the same as Satan. Thus, Satan is the serpent, and our flesh of sin is also the serpent. Witness Lee, Divine Economy, However, before we could receive this life, God also had to solve our problem of sin.
Hence, the death of Christ had the aspect of redemption with it. Now God has a just ground upon which He can dispense life to us, and we also have a proper standing to receive boldly this new life from God. There is a passage in the Bible with which we are quite familiar. John says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that every one who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.
First, it does not say that God loves sinners; it says that God loves the world. The world denotes humanity in general and has a higher sense than sinners. I do not mean to say that God does not love sinners. But the purpose of God in this verse --the bestowing of eternal life --is not granted to sinners. Sinners are at a lower level than God's basic requirement for humanity. There is a basic standard upon which God can freely dispense life. But a sinner is below that standard. Hence, before anything could be realized, God had to forgive and deal with our sins. The death of Christ paid the ransom for sin.
Now we need no longer be sinners. Because the flesh is related to Satan, in crucifying the flesh Christ destroyed Satan. This is why Hebrews says that through His death He destroyed the Devil. From John we know that when Christ was crucified, He cast out Satan, the ruler of the world, and He judged the world. He said that if you went to a young believer and asked him who died on the cross, he would say that his Redeemer had died on the cross for both his sins and his sin.
If you went to another one who was more advanced and asked him who had died on the cross, he would say that Christ died there, bearing his sins, sin, and himself Gal. Someone still more advanced in the Christian life would tell you that Christ died on the cross for his sins, sin, and himself with all of creation. A fourth category of Christians would say that Christ died on the cross not only for their sins, sin, and themselves will all of creation, but also in order to destroy Satan and judge the world.
Later I began to see that there was the need for further advancement in realizing the death of Christ, that is, the abolishing of the ordinances. All the ordinances --the habits, customs, traditions, and practices among the human race -- were abolished on the cross. Christ's crucifixion was the universal termination of all negative things. Hallelujah for such a termination! Witness Lee, Basic Revelation, Slaying the Ordinances In Ephesians Paul tells us that through His death on the cross, Christ abolished the law of the commandments in ordinances. In the Old Testament there were many ordinances.
Misrepresenting Witness Lee and Defending the Roman Catholic Church
The main one was circumcision, which divided the Jews from Gentiles. The Jews even used the term "uncircumcision" in referring to the Gentiles, while they considered themselves the circumcision. Circumcision was, therefore, a mark of separation. The Jews also kept the seventh day, another ordinance which made them different from the Gentiles. Both these ordinances Christ abolished on the cross Col. Other ordinances of the Jews were the dietary regulations.
In Acts 10, however, while Peter was praying on the housetop, a vision came to him vv. The Lord told Peter to eat the animals that he considered common and unclean. Thus, circumcision, the Sabbath, and the dietary regulations were all abolished. These ordinances had been a strong and high wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles, but now it was torn down. There is no longer any separation. The Jews and the Gentiles can be built together as the Body of Christ.
The ordinances have been abolished, but what about the differences between the races, such as the difference between blacks and whites? In Christ's complete redemption all these differences have also been abolished. He has done away with all the enmity. Yet many do not live according to this. The Jews still keep circumcision, the Sabbath, and the dietary regulations.
Even many Christians still have enmity. Through His one death Christ took away our sins and sin, He crucified the old man, He terminated the old creation, and He abolished the differences between the races. Now we are not in ourselves --we are in Christ. In Him there are no sins. In Him there is no sin. In Him there is no old man and no old creation. The church is simply Christ 1 Cor. The very content, the constituent, of the church is Christ Col. In the new man there is no Greek and no Jew, no social rank, no racial distinctions, no national differences; Christ is all and in all Col.
In Christ sins, sin, the old man, the old creation, and all the ordinances are done away. Witness Lee, Basic Revelation, Through His death, Christ abolished the ordinances that the two, Israel and the Gentiles, might be created into one new man in Christ, thus making peace Eph. The main ordinances among the Jews were the keeping of the Sabbath, circumcision, and the dietary regulations. The Jewish religion is built upon these three pillars.
These became a strong factor of separation, separating the Jews from all the Gentiles. Furthermore, all of the different cultures have their ordinances. The Japanese and the Chinese have their specific ordinances. The Texans have their ordinances, and the Yankees have their ordinances. But all of these ordinances have been crucified. The middle wall of partition, the wall of separation, has been torn down by Christ's death. Now regardless of our race or culture, we all can be one in Christ.
With all of the ordinances, we could have never been the one new man. How can the Chinese and the Japanese, and the whites and the blacks be one new man? They can be one new man because Christ slew all the ordinances and crucified all the natural persons on the cross. Now in the new man, there is room only for Christ. In the new man, Christ is all and in all Col. The cross of Christ has put away sin Heb. The cross of Christ has also abolished the ordinances of the law Eph. The top ordinances among the Jews were those concerning circumcision, keeping the Sabbath, and the holy diet.
There are also countless ordinances in the human race. Ordinances are the forms or ways of living and worship. All of our ordinances have to go to the cross. Then we can have a genuine oneness with harmony in Christ for the Body of Christ. In the universe there is such an all-inclusive death that has killed all the separating ordinances among men.
But sometimes these separating ordinances may creep into the church life.
This is why we need the all-inclusive death of Christ. We have to realize that our destiny is to be crucified, and we must take a crucified way. Whatever we are, has to be crucified. Witness Lee, Spirit, Destroying the Devil Colossians says, "Stripping off the rulers and the authorities, He made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in it. While Christ was dying on the cross, He did a work to strip off the evil angelic rulers and authorities of the rebellious angels, and made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in the cross.
When Christ was being crucified on the cross, there was a visible scene and an invisible scene. The Roman soldiers were seen by the disciples nailing Christ's physical body to the cross where He suffered and died. This was the visible scene. Behind this visible scene, there was an invisible scene. Man could not see this scene, but the angels could see it. In that invisible scene, Christ was stripping off the rebellious angels, the rulers and authorities in the air, coming to bother Him.
When Christ was crucified on the cross, He was not only damaged by the physical soldiers of the Roman Empire, but in the invisible scene, the rulers and the authorities, the fallen angels from the air, came to trouble Him. Christ stripped them off, just as a person would strip off a jacket. Even though Christ was in the likeness of the flesh of sin, He still had the flesh. The rulers and the authorities of the rebellious angels came to get that flesh, and they tried to remain on that flesh.
Thus, He had to strip them off, indicating that this was a battle. This can be compared to a person trying to strip off a jacket while someone else is trying to keep this jacket on him. Christ, however, overcame these rebellious angels by stripping them off and making a display of them openly in the cross. This means that He shamed them openly. Man could not see this invisible scene, but all the angels, both good and bad, saw it. Christ triumphed over these rebellious angels Witness Lee, Christian Life, When Christ was lifted up on the cross, Satan, the devil, the old serpent, was dealt with John ; Heb.
This means that the serpentine nature within fallen man has been dealt with by the death of Christ. We may use the illustration of a mousetrap. Mice are a nuisance and they are difficult to catch. However, you may catch them if you use a trap and some bait. When a mouse comes out of hiding seeking for something to eat, he will see the bait, walk into the trap in an attempt to seize the bait, and immediately be caught.
In this way the mouse is caught and destroyed. In the universe there is a little "mouse," Satan. Humanity became a trap in which he was caught. Adam became both the trap and the bait. Satan seized the bait, thinking that he had gained the victory by injecting himself into man's body, but he did not realize that in doing so he became trapped. He was trapped, located in man's flesh. One day the Lord Jesus put on the likeness of this flesh of sin. Then He brought this flesh to the cross and crucified it.
By crucifying the flesh, He destroyed the devil who had injected himself into man. Now we can understand Hebrews which says, "He took part of flesh.. If we do not understand all of these verses, it will be difficult to have the proper meaning of Hebrews How did Christ destroy Satan on the cross? By taking on the likeness of the flesh of sin and by bringing this flesh to the cross. There, through His crucifixion, Satan was destroyed.
Witness Lee, LS of John, In man's eyes, to die is not a work; but concerning Christ, His dying was a great work, a great accomplishment. Although it was unseen to human eyes, Satan with all the evil spirits knew that while Christ was dying on the cross, He was truly doing a great work. His working on the cross eventually became a battle, with God "stripping off the rulers and the authorities..
While Christ was dying on the cross, Satan was there fighting. Whenever the police go to arrest a robber, there is always a struggle and a fight. The death of Christ on the cross was the arrest of Satan. In Genesis 3, God promised that Christ would bruise the head of the serpent Gen. Witness Lee, Secret of Experiencing, 34 Terminating the Old Creation Christ's death terminated the old creation, which is related to the world. Galatians says that the world was crucified on the cross. Then verse 15 says, "For neither is circumcision anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creation is what matters.
If we do not go through the cross, we cannot be a new creation. On one side of the cross is the old creation, and on the other side is the new creation. When we pass through the cross, the old creation becomes the new creation. The old creation was terminated on the cross at Christ's death, so Christ's death becomes a landmark between the old creation and the new creation. We were the old creation, yet we have all been brought to the cross. On the cross we were terminated, and this termination ushered us into Christ's resurrection in which we all have been germinated to become the new creation.
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The new creation needs the crossing out of the old creation. Christ had to die in order to bring the old creation, including mankind, to an end. Only then could He produce a new creation. In the universe, there is such a principle: the old must go that the new may come. The old humanity and the old creation must pass away so that the new may be ushered in. How could this be accomplished? And who is this Christ? He is the Head of all creation Eph. All creation subsists in Christ Col.
Christ's death on the cross, therefore, means that the whole creation as represented in Christ was brought to an end. Through, by, and in the death of Christ we and the whole creation were terminated. The economy of God is that Christ must bring to death all creation. In God's economy, we were crucified Rom. Perhaps you were born just fifty years ago, but you were crucified two thousand years ago. In man's reckoning such a thing could not be, but in God's economy it is so.
The whole creation was brought to an end by the crucifixion of Christ. That is why Christ had to die. His death released the divine life concealed within Him John John says that a grain of wheat remains alone unless it is sown into the earth. If it is sown into the earth, it dies and then grows up to become many grains. This illustrates the releasing death of Christ. His death not only terminates all negative things; it also releases the divine life --the unique positive thing in the whole universe.
When Christ died, a soldier pierced His side and out came blood and water John These are symbols. Blood signifies redemption, and water signifies life. Blood and water are symbols of the two aspects of Christ's death. The negative aspect is redemption, and the positive aspect is the release of the divine life.
He died, and the life within Him was released. Through His death not only did the redeeming blood flow out; the divine life also flowed out from Him. Today when we believe in Him, we receive the blood and obtain the living water, the divine life. We receive redemption and we obtain eternal life. Witness Lee, Basic Revelation, 28 The death of Christ on the cross was also a part of the divine dispensing.
The death of the incarnated Son released the divine life within Him for the divine dispensing John ; John says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. For the grain of wheat to die is to release the life within its shell. The life within the shell cannot be released until the shell is broken, and when it is broken, the life within is released to produce many grains. First, it is one grain alone; then it becomes many grains.
This is the dispensing of the inner life of the one grain into the many grains. Jesus as the grain of wheat was the divine seed. The divine life was concealed in His "shell. If the grain of wheat does not fall into the earth and die, it remains one grain. But if it dies, it grows up into many grains. All the foregoing six items of Christ's death are involved with clearing up the negative things in the universe. This last item is altogether on the positive side to release the divine life. His death on the cross as a grain of wheat released the divine life from within Him to impart, to dispense, this life into all His believers.
He died as the first six items to clear up the universe and to clear up the way that He might impart, that He might dispense, the divine life into you and me. This grain of wheat is a grain of the eternal life. If He had died on the cross only as a man and not as God, He could not be such a grain of wheat. He died on the cross as the God-man. This man was the shell of the grain, and God was the inner life within the grain.
Thus, the God-man is a grain of wheat having both the shell and the life within. He died as the grain of life to release the divine life from within Him to dispense God into all of us as the divine life. His all-inclusive death is altogether for the dispensing of God into His redeemed people. Have we ever realized that every meal we have eaten is composed of things that have passed through death? Take, for example, a fish. Would we eat it alive? No, the fish must die. Everything we eat must die, even an apple or an orange. Day by day, while we are eating, we are killing, for we must chew the food.
We kill the fruit, we kill the fish, we kill the cattle! Nothing can be our food unless it is dead. A little grain of wheat if put into the earth will grow, for there is life in it. But if we would take the grain as our food, we must kill it by eating it. We must realize that Christ had to pass through death in order to impart Himself to us as our life-supply.
Even if we were not sinful, Christ still must die for us. He had to die that He might be our life-supply. In some parts of the world it is the women who kill the chickens to prepare them for food. Do they kill them because they are sinful? Do they say, "O chicken, I am a poor sinner; so you must die for me"? Of course not. The chicken's dying has nothing to do with their sin. The reason for its dying is that they may be supplied with life. Christ is the food of life from heaven. We can only take Him into us by the way of death. What He said in John regarding Himself as the bread of life to us indicates death.
He had to die --and He did die, praise the Lord! Every time we come to the Lord's table, we see the symbols, a piece of bread and a cup of wine. The bread signifies the body of Christ, and the wine signifies His blood. This was my second time through it and I got a lot more out of it this go-round.
When the communists took over in China Nee was imprisoned for his faith, where he remained for the next two decades until his death in We are not sinners merely because we sin, but instead we sin because we are born sinners. The old man died with Christ and the new man rises to new life in Christ.
It is an accomplished fact, which we appropriate by reckoning —that is, making a conscious choice to consider —ourselves dead to sin and alive to God. Baptism is the clear line of demarcation that we are no longer in Adam but instead in Christ. We fulfill the righteous requirements of the law not by trying to keep the law, but through walking by the Spirit.
Therefore, just as we can know we have died and risen with Christ, we can also know that if we have trusted in Christ then we have received the gift of His Spirit. It is not a matter of feelings but of trust in the finished work of Christ and belief in the promise and Word of God. Not only have we been delivered from sin through the death of Christ, but we have also been delivered from the Law. We are now dead to the Law and alive to God. The Law is not fulfilled in us by trying to keep the law, but by walking in the Spirit.
Not only are we in Christ, but Christ is also in us through His Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to fulfill the righteous requirements of the Law. Walking in the Spirit does not equate to effort on our part, but simply to recognizing that our flesh has been crucified and allowing the Holy Spirit to do His work in and through us.
Because Adam chose the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil rather than the Tree of Life, man developed an independent self-life which caused the human soul to become more developed than God ever intended. God never meant for man to live independent of Him. I suppose that Stephen Kaung could be considered as such a one, but then again I don't believe that he joined Nee as a co-worker until the s.
Point being here is that all we have to go upon are the recollections 2nd hand of those who were mentored or discipled by one of Nee's converts. Of course we also have the recollections of one Witness Lee Lastly, but not least, we do have the recollections and observations of certain trusted "outsiders" that were there in the early days of the Little Flock.
Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 2), Vol. - The Truth Bookroom Singapore
He was a speaker and doer, but not much of a writer. What we do know for sure is what was produced by Nee's early ministry to his beloved countrymen - many souls were saved and many churches were planted. And this, after all, is the ultimate call of the Great Commission. To be considered a great man of God one must be fully committed to and act in complete obedience to the Great Commission, and in my opinion Watchman Nee got off to a great and glorious start in this respect.
So no matter what his faults were later on and there were many , his reward is there in heaven with his heavenly Father, whose glorious presence he is no doubt enjoying as I write this post. May we all receive grace and mercy enough to be one tenth as profitable and useful as "early" Nee. After the LSM denominational churches recovered the matter of lawsuits within a church and division by the improper uplifting of a man and his ministry, as seen in 1 Corinthians, I dropped the matter of there being a recovery. The only recovery I believe in is the recovery God is doing within each one of us.
Also, whatever ministry is exercised by man from God that ministry must be received only in the light of Scripture. When man's teachings begin to veer off; then we must stop receiving those teaching which deviate and acknowledge that, no matter how much treasured by us, the minister and his ministry has left the Word of God.
Dear ones, All the recent fellowship on this thread has been very helpful to me. At the same time, may we also acknowledge that which is not of the Lord and be willing to be warned by it. The great recovery work our God is doing is the inward working He is doing in all of us. It is copied below. He could not serve two! Where today we seek to perpetuate our work by setting up an organization or society or system, the OT saints served their own day and passed on.
This is an important principle of life. Wheat is sown, grows, ears, is reaped, and then the whole plant, even to the root, is plowed out. That is the Church, never rooted permanently in the earth. Men pass on, but the Lord remains. The spiritual testimony of believers is to be heavenly, not earthly. Never must it become fixed, static. God Himself takes away His workers, but He gives others. Our work suffers, but His never does.
Nothing touches Him. He is still God. This discussion has caused me to mull over some saying of WL. I heard him countless times relate the circumstances around his leaving Mainland China for Taiwan just before the communist took over. I assumed WL was referring to truth and testimony. I now realize that it was the continuation of a movement. I have had several interesting talks with former co-workers from the mainland. They all have their own version of what happened before the communist came in.
Unfortunately all the various versions eventually have a central point. The stress will always eventually come to how WN would want his work and legacy carried on and who is doing so in the truest way. Thus you have the basis for all the purges and storms of the last 60 years. Amen, dear brothers Hope and Ohio, You have brought up some very important points which require serious reexamination by all those who, like me, "bought into the whole package". That places this sweet speaking squarely within the period of "early Nee". The emphasis in the following excerpts was added by me. It actually tells a lot about the person.
Who would be your second choice? What would we see? What would surprise us? What might even shock us? What would disappoint us? What questions would we have for him? If we could warn him of anything what would we warn him of? Again, this is the focus of the New Testament and not the establishment of an all-encompassing and all-controlling ministry for the age. At some point Nee, like so many Christian leaders, may have succumbed somewhat to pride, a spirit of arrogance and a misplaced notion of his importance in the Body of Christ.
Compare the last sentence in each of these two excerpts. A definite shift in attitude and speaking has taken place. In , the elders now had to submit to the authority of the apostles. On top of that, the reference to 1 Tim. There is nothing at all in 1 Tim. Am I missing something here? On the "practical" side we have these two matters of "the work" and the artificial, man-made doctrine of locality.
Both of these can and have been used as tools of great abuse among God's people. As far as I can tell, I think early Watchman Nee had a biblical and healthy notion of "the work" and how it should be carried out. Now his locality teaching, that's another matter, for it essentially ignores hundreds and hundreds of years of church history. The teaching of one church in every city is not artificial UntoHim. How can you make such a statement. Look in the Word of God. Look at the record of the New Testiment.
You may not like it but that doesn't change what is recorded in scripture. The New Testiment writings are full of evidense that in the minds of the early saints all the believers in a city were the church in that city The local churches may have deviated from the true practice of oneness but that doesn't change the reality of the Word. The hundreds of years of church history that you refer to is a history of fallen man's exercising his own thoughts and views rather than submitting himself to the truth of the Word. Church history is replete with brothers who unsuccessfully attempted to convert God's one-time blessing into a mandate for future practice -- it's called religious tradition, and is the basis for every denomination and sect.
It's slavery that's so horribly expensive " - Colonel Templeton, ret. Look at the record of the New Testiment Thank you UntoHim for this response. I totally agree with you and I am not promoting the "taking of the ground" as practiced by "The Local Churches". But If we all will be honest in looking into the Word and the practice of the early church as recorded there I know that the way this has been practiced by many followers of WL has been very wrong.
And I will say this The presense of the Lord is with His people in many gatherings of believers who are not "Local Churches". I am blessed to have wonderful fellowship with dear brothers who would be condemded as being in one the the great whores daughters. I currently felllowship with some "outside" of the LSM local churches and am certainly fed by the Lord with them. Iregardless of others mistakes What others have done does not negate the truth of the Word.
I see all the believers in those cities where the gosple went under the apostles referred to as the church in wherever city they were. There are no denominations recorded in the NT The Word is the final authority Originally Posted by aron. If you ignore the "oneness" and focus on the "One ", and you'll find yourself more one, and more blessed, than you could have imagined. But if you focus on the "oneness" you'll go somewhere strange, and dark. Amen, dear ones. The recent posts on this thread contain some excellent discussion and cover a very important point.
Adam and Eve are a Type of Christ and the Church
The reality of our oneness with all believers and the need to be open to receive all genuine believers are key points in the NT. These things, of course, have their practical application first and foremost in the place where we live. Interestingly enough, in Bakht Singh was led by the Spirit and the Word to labor in a similar way in India and Pakistan.
At that point, a genuine move of the Spirit - which had been so sensitive to the Spirit and so willing to check everything against the Bible - became a movement of men. Today, so many Christians assemble outside of the traditional denominations. The best of these are absolutely open to receive, and to fellowship with, all genuine believers in Christ. Today, so many rich ministers of Christ minister outside of any organized denomination.
Stephen Kaung and his co-workers, the GLA brothers, and the many who minister to home churches are but three examples. Oregon, Actually to be honest we must see in the NT believers in a house referred to as the church in that house. I know, Nee taught that the church in the house is really the church in the city, but this is really just his assumption based on his bias. If you really study it you must admit that saying the NT house church equals the city church is really an argument employing the fallacy of petitio principii begging the question in which the conclusion is assumed in the premise.
In other words, if a person hadn't already decided that city churches are the only valid ones, he never would claim based on the evidence of the NT text that the house church equals the city church. I view the Whistler quarantine the same way. Christian leaders, jealous for power, developing complex schemes to justify bad behavior. They will never admit the obvious.
Hundreds of articles written. LSM releases their glossy 28 booklet "attack pack. History is repeated One of the original Brethren, A. Groves, made a striking comment when confronting a similar situation. Instead of condemning all those who were different some how, or deficient in some way, not up to "the standard" we require, he stated, and I paraphrase, " I would rather bear with all the wrongs of my brother in Christ, lest perhaps I miss out on that portion of Christ which he possesses.
The oneness of the Body of Christ is mainly, but not exclusively, local and practical. But the oneness of the Body of Christ is not prescribed and is not the result of a teaching or formula. The oneness of the Body of Christ is intrinsic. The New Testament refers to the church in the city over and over but not as a rule to keep the oneness. The believers in Corinth were very divided but Paul referred to them "the church of God. On the other hand, to seek a universal oneness, annuls the headship of Christ as we have sadly seen.
Humor me for a sec here. As soon as they were able to get over the shock and wonder of all our modern day advances fast Chariots, fast food and such they would probably seek out some Christians to break bread with. Now if they happen to run into a Local Churcher they would no doubt point them to the meeting hall over their on Ball Road. My guess would be that after the apostles got done questioning why every book, audio tape and video had the name of this Witness Lee fellow on it, they would ask how it could be that a city of hundreds of thousands people has just this one gathering place for all the Christians.
Then the apostles may catch one of those fancy, fast Chariots and take it down the street to another gathering place of Christians, and who da thuk it…these Christians are meeting in the name of Christ too, they are reading the bible, preaching and worshipping and praising too. Well, what do ya know! As to early Watchman Nee, I would like to think that he would react in a similar way.
I don't know for a fact and neither does anybody else out there. I know one thing, I bet he would be disgusted, appalled and maybe even repulsed by that charade over there on Ball Road and even more so by the monstrosity of the headquarters there on La Palma that purports to carry on his ministry No, brother Watchman, this is not your grandfather's Local Church no more, so sorry. Unto Him It's not everybody meeting in one place. There could be literally hundreds of meeting places just as in the early church in Jerusalem they met from house to house and with literally thousands of believers there there must have been many gathering places.
Face the real issue UntoHim. And please I'll listen to what the Word says I got your message UntoHim. Forgive me if I misunderstood you. Please realize that I am not promoting the LSM church life It seems as though some of the posters here just want to get away from the one church in the locality and it is being spoken of in a very negative way.
The oneness of the church has to be real in a practical way and just staying in our divisions and proclaiming a oneness in the spirit isn't it. Dear ones, OK. I admit it. I need help. About a year ago I read a marvelous statement by TAS: "Simply gather together outside of all known divisions and center on Christ alone". I was only one year out of the LC at that time, and TAS's statement became a real rhema word, a real shining light, to me. Obviously TAS's words are not the Bible, but I strongly believed he captured the essence of the apostles' hearts regarding the practical outworking of the spiritual oneness we already possess.
Now, I am not so sure anymore. While participating in the recent discussion on this thread, it is like my brain is in a "fog" regarding this whole matter of oneness.
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I just can't get clear. It seems so deceptively simple, and yet it eludes me. Please help! Whatever you can share from the Word or from personal experience would be appreciated. Or, at the very least, please pray for me! At a conference "feast" in Florida several years ago, LSM's chief theologian, RK, commented to all the assembled, and I paraphrase, " that we must forsake our little local church in order to care for the body. What does he really mean? This was not just anyone speaking here. He has, by his own admission, referred to himself as one of the "deputized authorities" of the body of Christ.
So what does he mean "care for the body? Of course, neither RK nor LSM would ever teach this exactly, nor put this in their books, but this is the impression, reinforced by many similar comments, forged in our hearts. Rather, what and how should we practice? Are we centered on Christ and looking to Him directly to head us up? Are we bestowing more abundant honor on the member who lacks? Are we seeking to bear the one who has no strength? If we are in the reality of the above, we probably are okay regarding discerning the Body and keeping the oneness.
The problem with the majority of the Christian assemblies goes far beyond the issue of oneness. Oneness is not the whole story. What about the function of the members of the Body of Christ? Paul introduces us to the fact and vision of the Body of Christ. The first mention in the New Testament is Romans chapter There the stress in not on oneness but on the function of the members. When we consider the church, we must consider the Headship of Christ.
For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. NASB It is not that we need to discern whether the table itself is a divisive table aka a table of the So. Baptist etc but we must discern ourselves. Are we, the person, in anyway practicing division? We are members one of another. Since we believers have such a problem with division, it seems the Holy Spirit would have given specific formulas in the New Testament to help us preserve the oneness.
But no, when we focus on the proper prescription for oneness it escapes us. Hope, Don Rutledge A believer who is seeking to become a true disciple. Originally Posted by OBW. Don, When you get to the idea of the function of the members of the body, there is much to be said. Is it strictly spiritual, partly practical, or always some kind of mix to be truly functioning?
Does the fact that people who are not yet Christian participate in meetings diminish the group? I do not ask these questions to shame anyone, or poke fun at anything. Even just three years ago, I would have answered these questions in a manner that I would not today. Often, the visible functioning may seem less spiritual. Other times more so.
There is a lot that could go in there. And what about the propensity for the functioning to be done by less than all members? Hope, 1. My background I know this is very stupid thing to say in this point in time discussing God's word, but I had a lot of experience in business. And I do not know much about Chee Foo and Tronto, but I have had my church life in a local church for about 20 years, scrutinizing the teachings based on the Bible and other teachers' teachings.
So, in a sense, I have somthing to say. I just want to stop here. More speaking about myself doesn't seem to be so proper. By the way, I'm not a English native speaker. Hopefully, you use plain English when talking with me. Some colloquial expressions are hard to understand. Your book I'm interested in your book. Please let me know where I can get it. If possible, please send me, if it is in softcopy, whether by attaching it in this thead or by personal message.
But there is a big difference between when the early church was set up and now. Simply speaking, the churches in Asia in the Bible was the literally the first churches in that regions. So there was no problem about appointing and accepting "one set of elders. But as time goes on, there came a lot of other preachers, other saints, and maybe with other elders than those set up by Paul. I think Paul did not condenm them, judging from below verses in Philipians. The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached.
And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, Philipians 1, NIV It seems to me that "one unitary eldership in a city" was not so important to Paul at that time. But WN emphacized one unitary eldership when he published his analysis. I know my analysis is not so profound, so I think it's worth only 2 cents for now, but I'm planning to delve into it in more detail later. By the way, I am planning to discuss the matter of apostleship soon with Igzy. Hopefully, you can be with us. Last edited by Gubei; at PM. Church history shows us only one model that is blessed, believers seeking the Lord, obedient to the word, preaching the gospel, caring for others, etc.
What that looks like is up to the Spirit of God. God in His ingenuity has used an untold diversity of ways. All of them were fruitful for a season. None of them should be considered the "God ordained way. At what point in time did division of the body become acceptable? It was condemned in Paul's day but now it is OK because to practice the oneness of the body is unworkable and therefore not necessary. So it is no longer important to God,. A simple hand shaking while we all stay in our practical divisions is the current move of God on earth.
Brother Oregon , from one "O" state to another -- I understand how your views are defined, having held them myself since the mid 70's. Then, a few years ago, I watched our leaders use these same definitions to quarantine, divide, and bring brothers to court. How I wished there could be a "simple hand shaking" with the many saints I love and once met with. So I had to "rethink" the definition of division which I loved so dearly. The N. But I have. I now consider LSM to be more divisive than any of the Christians they for so long have condemned. They have delivered to us definitions which exonerate them, and judge all others.
The definitions themselves are wrong, and must be examined against scripture. Last edited by Oregon; at AM. Oregon, I definitely understand your protests of all extremes, I have often found myself doing the same, so we are mostly in agreement here except for your comment, " the bible doesn't say anything against smoking marijuana, therefore it's OK.
The Lord never taught the local ground. The apostles never taught the local ground. The early church fathers never taught the local ground. Why should we teach it? UntoHim I'll agree with you on your statement concerning the minister of the age and one publication, Your statement concerning Nee reading something into the bible that is not there is a clear example of some of the extreem statements made on this site. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay out in left field. Your statement concerning Nee reading something into the bible that is not there is a clear example of some of the extreem statements made on this site.
Here's a little question for everyone. Why is it that people who want to dictate where to meet always believe the right place is where they happen to meet? Originally Posted by Gubei. Basically, I am trying to say that WN or WL's teachings should be considered one of diverse teachings in fundamentalists' camp.
I know there are some questionable teachings or practices in them, but I do not think they have really gone far as to be called "heresy. How many crucial truths in the Bible are supported by "prescriptive" verses? The Bible is not a well-written systematic theology textbook or US Constitution-type mandate. They are histories, epistles, and so on an so forth, but not least so prescriptive as Wesminster Confession. One error of some Christians is that they do not distingush between having different interpretations which are still in the boundary of fundamentalists' camp and calling other fundamentalists' interpretations "unbiblical, heretic etc.
As I alrerady several times made it clear, "the ground of locality" is not an essential element in our Christians life. Any Christian who even belongs to Catholic can be a overcomer for God who will expedite the second coming of our Lord Jesus. Last edited by aron; at AM. Just one? Watchman Nee clearly taught that when a group of Christians moves to a city they should join with "the church in so-and-so" that is already there.
I rest my case. Sorry brother Hope, but the examples you have given here do not pass muster Most Local Churchers know exactly what I was getting at with the proviso of "submitting to their established elders" and "taking the one ministry of their one apostle". Sorry to be a stickler about the details, but there is a method to my madness here.
I think As I have noted in recent posts, if one firmly believes in "one church - one city", then it is not too much to ask them to act upon their convictions. I don't know about early or late Watchman Nee and nobody else here does either , but I have oodles and oodles of info on this fellow Witness Lee, and he did not give a flying fiddle about "one church - one city", not in the least. What he cared about was having ONE particular church in any one particular city that was willing to go along with the program Sorry to put this all in such concrete terms.
But dem R de facts. So, not to put too, too fine of a point on all of this Hello Brother Unto, The idea of established elders having the one ministry of their one apostle did not develop until some time in the early-mid eighties. The idea of some sort of central ministry began to be carried out during the time of Max Rapoport. Sometimes I will mention something which the reader must pick up as a pivotal event.
My story of O K city and Max R. This idea of established elders under the one ministry of their one apostle was one of the main factors that jettisoned me and so many out of that circle. If you frame you question as strictly as you have, then you have your answer. If you ask, if there was ever ever any thought that some from a local church which knew WL could integrate with another group which desired to practice the one city, one church idea, then yes there was such a common thought at one time and some did seek to practice it. The problem does not come from seeking to practice the church in the city.
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Flush the notion of a set of elders being appointed by a recognized apostle and the descriptive practice in the New Testament begins to enter into the realm of possibility. Please note Acts , And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed. The Greek word is cheirotoneo and is translated here as appoint. It means to literally stretch out your hand and to point someone out, to recognize someone. Paul and Barnabas were simply recognizing the brothers who had been manifested as more mature with a measure of leadership.
Now please note Titus , For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint kathistemi elders in every city as I directed you. Kathistemi literally means to set something on a solid base or to firmly establish. On another thread, I have read the charge being laid at the feet of the elders or leaders in the local churches that they were untrained and not qualified.
If you take away this whole phony notion of the elders being some kind of bosses or middle managers to carry out the work of an apostle then many problems are suddenly gone and it is very possible for two or more groups of believers to come together in oneness to glorify the Lord and allow Him to be the head over all things to the church. Re: The practice of one church, one city. Brother Unto, In in the Embassy Auditorium in LA at the summer conference, one meeting was given to various local churches to give a report as to their current state and a little history.
One who spoke was Don Morsey of Sacramento. They were at that time recognized by WL and by just about everyone else as a local church. Some had relocated there from other places and WL had visited them on several occasions. Eventually they had a falling out with WL and are no longer in that circle. At that time, the church in New York was under the care of elders appointed by Stephen Kaung. The saints from LA sought to join with the church there and to submit to the elders there.
They did not pray read, call on the Lord etc. S K was by then living in Richmond Va. Eventually he and the church in New York had a falling out and the church in New York came more under the ministry of WL. Brother Unto, I believe I know your point. Based on your definition, the practice of the local church cannot work but will only lead to division and the usurpation of the headship of Christ.
Division over leaders and founders and the printing of literature is at least as old as the reformation. The LSM is nothing new just more recent with a Chinese culture twist. But it is a good thing to examine what has been built by their work. The current state of their work is indefensible and you and Igzy should stop picking on the weak and helpless.
But in seriousness they are self condemned. Their fruit regarding oneness is a shame to the oneness of the Body of Christ. I would relish the possibility of a public debate regarding Biblical oneness versus LSM oneness. They would lose. But alas, it will not happen. Hope, Don Rutledge. Re: spiritual revelation vs. There are examples. Pittsburg Pa. John Kansas are a few that come to mind. In the early days, most migrations were to places where saints were discovered who had some understanding of the oneness of the Body of Christ and desired to practice a practical church life on the lines of the church in a city.
Hope, you've mentioned two cities where my parents moved my siblings and I to: Phoenix and Albuquerque. What I do remember were families that had moved there were LA. I would not know if there were families already living there meeting in "oneness" prior to the migrations.
For example in Alburquerque, the late Bob Danek was the elder. Was his family and others already meeting in Alburquerque prior to the migrations for establishing a "church in Alburquerque"? To my recollection there were two households besides my parents that previously lived in LA. There was another that migrated via Seattle. If you might know, how did the Church in Alburquerque originate?
Hope, based on your last sentence that is what happened in Las Vegas. Brothers and sisters that desired a practical church life according to their vision led them to move to Los Angeles during the mid to late 's. Dear Brother Unto, Perhaps this may be interesting. During the sixties, I heard from WL on several occasions and from other Taiwan Saints of an event that occurred in the fifties in Taipei.
There were about believers who had escaped from mainland China who had been in the local churches associated with WN. They began to meet and preach the gospel. A significant number was saved and added. The elders, co-workers and WL were very concerned about practicing the practical oneness of the local church. There were seven other assemblies in Taipei which were not associated with any mainline denominations. The elders approached them all and made them all the following offer. The church in Taipei would turn over all property and accounts and ask all the members to submit to the elders in the other group.
The local church elders would resign and submit to the elders in the other group. The local church elders and co-workers also said they would reframe from speaking or ministering anything for six month. They were turned down by every group. This story was told to us in the early days as a case study of how we in the USA should endeavor to practice the oneness of the local church wherever we might be meeting. I have told in my first chapter about the early days in the local church in the USA.
One of the practices that Benson Philips was particularly ardent for was the seeking out of other Christian groups and our being willing to meet with them and to submit to them.