Thanks for your reply, Steve. You have made a good point that I might be under-analyzing your argument concerning your view on reward and punishment. There is however a reward and a punishment for the believers that you would have to acknowledge. For isn't God the righteous Judge and He will judge each one of us according to our works. We are guaranteed eternal life but if we're not mature to produce the precious materials for God's building. From 1 Cor 3:10-17 "According to the grace of God given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid a foundation, but another builds upon it. But let each one take heed how he builds upon it. For other foundation no one is able to lay besides that which is being laid, which is Jesus Christ. But if anyone builds on the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood grass stubble, the work of each shall become manifest; for the day shall make it known, because it is revealed by fire, and the fire itself will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work shall be consumed, he shall suffer loss, but he shall recieve a reward. If anyone's work shall be consumed, he shall suffer loss, but he shall be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you. If anyone destroys the temple of God, God shall destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, which you are."
These verses show that there is a punishment and a reward depending on what material you're building with. Thus, we as believers' need to build with God as the Transformed precious materials and not with natural things or what one heaps up with in their flesh or natural concept without letting the Spirit take the lead. This is what I got from these verses. Please share your insight with me. Thanks.
I admit that I was wrong in assuming that you might be declaring something contradictory to the Bible and I didn't thoroughly look over your site. However, you're reply seemed very impolite to me. Let's say if you are actually trying to win someone over to Christ and the true doctrine. Wouldn't it be better to win them over with Christ instead of relying on your nature in condemnation. Although, I myself handled your words quite well. It may deeply scar other believers in Christ as well. It may inadvertently damage others' relationship to the Lord. So please touch your spirit and ask the Lord to give you the utterance to speak and follow His leading. I myself will do the same.
As for your remark concerning that I don't know the Bible well enough. Well, I admit that I might not be able to pull out references from my mind because I personally hold myself responsible for my own slothfulness when it comes to memorizing verse refernces. However, I do have a living relationship with the Lord in that I do read His Word and I personally spend time with HIm and have fellowship with others. Plus, I believe I do have a portion of Christ that you can't take from me. Please check my topic on http://thebereans.net/forum/index.php because someone placed a link unto your site. Under the topic "Important Truth concerning the local church" I have provided many links and sources that can validate our arguments as being legitimate Christians. There are references from the following sources: bible verses and footnotes to look up, websites, song references. Please look over the material carefully and prayerfully please.
I'm just letting you know Steve that I do appreciate God and His word and "Praise the Lord" for your admonishment in that I do need to be more constituted with God's Word, not only know His Word and the verse references but become a witness to the world that I live from His word.
As for the part about calling on the name of the Lord and seeing someone saved, I have been at such an event. It was informal in that the person brought up the sad ending to the Passion of Christ and became somewhat touched by it. Another occurance was with a Hindu brother who after studied with Chemical Engineers for many years saw the testimony they had and became attracted to the Lord and one brother he knew since junior high (I believe) and this brother was saved during his freshman year in Berkeley. So there is a background of infusing others' with Christ through our witnessing and being a beacon reflecting God's glory to the world. However, it definitely was under the Lord's sovereignty that led these two to their salvation. They may not have known the importance of Jesus' death on the cross but they saw something so attractive of Christ that they wanted to have the eternity in their heart filled (Ecclesiastes). They simply wanted to find their satisfaction in God. There are many ways that lead to God as long as it is through Jesus only. By this I mean you can get saved from believing in His accomplishment on the cross in bearing our sins, world, satan or that He wants to enter in your spirit as the Life-Giving Spirit (1 Cor 15:45b and Gal 2:20) to become the fountain of living water to satisfy your thirst. As a result, they recieved the Spirit and a foretaste of the tree of life through the blood of Christ's death on the cross. The reason we don't emphasize the cross as much is because God's original intention was for man to eat "God" as the tree of life so God wouldn't be so objective and far away but His Spirit can join with man. This is not an argument for modalism nor trithiesm. We believe that God is Triune and I have provided you with the information on the bereans site.
My apologies for a rough start between us. However, I do hope that if we do continue to fellowship in the future we can at least see eachother in Christ.
Your Brother, Peter
I'll have to respond to your two responses separately. First concerning your email response, and later your posting.
First of all concerning you "feeling offended". Don't know what you're all offended about. I just told you the truth. Alot of people were offended at Jesus as well. His rhetoric was much stronger than mine. Just read Matthew 23 for example. And so also in John 6 he turned off some of his disciples so much that they ceased to follow him. Would you then tell Jesus to tone down his message lest he turn off people. In fact he was crucified because he offended people. I can only say as Jesus said, "If I said something wrong, testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?" John 18:23 And if I offend you then perhaps the book of Galatians also offends you.
The cross itself is an offense and stumbling block to many. (I wonder if that's why Witness Lee's people tend to shy away from preaching the cross and dealing with issues of sin and repentance - afraid of "turning off" people) I don't have such fears. "If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed." 1Corinthians 16:22
Much as you "feel" offended, I too am offended at you and your Witness Lee dogma. Even the exclusive title of calling your institutions "the Church at such and such a place", when in fact there are plenty of other Christians in those places who have their own assemblies separate from yours. And yet you reckon your group the only legitimate meeting of the body of Christ! This is just one way you reckon the rest of the body of Christ with contempt. You complain that you feel offended, well I feel offended too. I feel offended at your rhetoric. I feel offended even that you feel offended. For if you appreciated the truth then you shouldn't feel offended. But hey I am used to such attitudes from Witness Lee's people.
As for 1Corinthians 3:10-17 (or most any other verse in the New Testament for that matter), I have written on these in my commentary you can view on t he web site, but which you apparently failed to read. (More under-analyzing on your part) For I have spoken openly for all the world to hear.
As for 1Cor 3:10-17 notice that the person isn't burned, but rather his dead works are burned up. The person himself escapes the fire. The dead works represent our sins of which under the New Covenant God declares, "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." Heb 10:17 And how does He remember them no more? By burning them up. We suffer loss of reward for the time we wasted on sin. But nonetheless all who have been born of God are saved from God's wrath. Lee and Nee, and you as well, apply passages which speaking of suffering God's wrath to those whom they allege have eternal life!
I believe Christ died for my sins, but am I not correct in saying that you people believe that many attain salvation by paying for their own sins in some kind of a 1000 year purgatorial scenario?
Lee's take on these concepts are simply a version of what is known as "Free Grace Theology", formerly known in ancient times as "Antinomianism", which the apostles attacked. It is the proposition that there is not necessarily any correlation between a person's behavior and their salvation status. It is contrary to the gospel.
For example Paul writes, "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1Corinthians 6:9-11
"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life." Gal 6:7-8
"this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience." Eph 5:5,6
So also John writes:
"Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil" 1John 3:7,8
And concerning how to identify those born of God he continues, "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother." 1John 3:9,10
On this point you have been deceived and led astray. And as you teach others you will be a deceiver as well, leading others astray. Therefore I exhort you to study this matter carefully. You've been indoctrinated with Witness Lee dogma. Here's an experiment you may try. Why don't you stand up in one of your "meetings" and quote these verses and see how frazzled and alarmed or agitated the "leadership" gets. Maybe you're afraid of turning people off. But it doesn't seem to me that Paul and John were afraid of such things.
Yes I'm quite familiar with all the word games Lee plays with these verses. He wants to accomodate Christians living a lifestyle of sin and say that they won't be eternally condemned but only suffer in some purgatorial fashion for 1000 years. It's bogus. It's not the gospel of Christ.
You say I take things out of context. Why don't you read the context yourself. The context of all of these verses give no indication that they are making any distinction between eternal life and the 1000 year millenial kingdom. These all make a clear distinction between the saved and unsaved. The Bible doesn't play word games. It's eternal condemnation for those not born of God - for those who continue to live a lifestyle of sin or fall away into accepting doctrinal heresy. But I'll be writing more detailed analysis in reponse to your post.
Good Bible studying to you and may God grant you the wisdom and revelation from a proper study of the Word to realize the folly of the "Recovery Movement's" doctrine.
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
Edition: Jul 29,2015