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todd
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Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
California

 The Christian and Psychic Force

This article was very interesting but it seems so theoretical. There is so little Scripture to back up his points. I am wondering if this kind of speculation stirs up more concern, skepticism, suspicion, and confusion than it helps the Body of Christ. I don't really doubt Watchman Nee's sincerity in writing this article to protect folks, but I do have doubts about much of what he wrote.

Maybe some others who know Nee's material better than I do could help me here.

 2004/9/12 1:56Profile
lwpray
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Joined: 2003/6/22
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 Re: The Christian and Psychic Force


Brother Todd,
This morning finds me pondering the possibility posting two or three chapters on the Inner man from Nee's The Spiritual Man.
As I do so, your question comes up.
I would like to direct you to "Spiritual reality and Obsession" by Watchman Nee.
I am of the same mind as you regarding the speculative tone, but the facts presented are backed by so many other writers from various backgrounds.
Lars


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Lars Widerberg

 2004/9/12 2:06Profile
DezCall
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 Re:

I believe Watchman Nee to be a born-again Christian and I believe God has used Him mightily. God gave him to speak with knowledge and wisdom from God, something we lack today.

Still I agree with brother Todd. I read a book of him on "prayer" and I missed Biblical foundation. I must admit that some of his statements confuse me. I don't care if God confuses me if I know it is He, but in these cases I couldn't back it up with Scripture.

I just read a part of "The Christian and physical force" and again I don't know what to think of it.

[i]All the works of the Holy Spirit are done through man's spirit[/i]

Is this Biblical? Anyone?

[i]Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5.18) indicates that this new spirit of ours should be filled with the Holy Spirit. In other words, God tills our spirit with His Holy Spirit.[/i]

Do we receive two spirits when we are being born again? One human spirit and the Holy Spirit?:-? Isn't it so that we are spiritually dead and that through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we come to life? We where dead in sin (Ephesians 2:5) but have been raised by God through Christ. [i]"He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior" (Titus 3:5-6)[/i]

Does not our human spirit opposes the Holy Spirit? Don't we need to move if God will be able to fill us with His Spirit?

Maybe everything is being backed by writers from various backgrounds, but it disturbs me a little. Maybe I cannot contain it all yet. I want to know Christ and I therefore need Biblical foundation. I need it to be backed by Gods Word. At this moment only questions and doubts arise...


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Paul

 2004/9/12 9:21Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Maybe some others who know Nee's material better than I do could help me here.


Hi Brother Todd, Yea perhaps it would help if I provided the first chapter before the second.. its from this book: [url=http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/nee/5f00.0634/5f00.0634.c.htm]The Latent Power of the Soul by Watchman Nee[/url]

He brings about alot of scriptural argument in that chapter as a foundation for chapter 2 which I posted on the newsletter. That book is quite small and its a condesed version of his 3 part book series "The Spiritual Man" which is a great read in and of its self. He believed in the tri-partite human nature and I think scripture clearly teaches that also. Once you are over that hurdle really the rest of what he says is quite straightforward. He takes alot of points from Jesse-Penn Lewis also in his book "Power of the Latent Soul" either way he finds a great godly way of explaining how other religions have spiritual phenomina and how Christians can even tap into this other energy against the will of God.


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 2004/9/12 9:34Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Still I agree with brother Todd. I read a book of him on "prayer" and I missed Biblical foundation. I must admit that some of his statements confuse me. I don't care if God confuses me if I know it is He, but in these cases I couldn't back it up with Scripture.


Yes many of Watchman Nee's materials can be confusing to the carnal mind and to those who are still in lower levels of the school of Christ then He was. I have stumbled personally over alot of things he has said in his books, but with perserverance and prayer I have gotten most of the revelation. I do not agree 100% with everything he says and surely he is fallible, but this topic of 'latent soul power' as he terms it is untouched by anyone else and in my mind of utmost importance in our day to understand.

Quote:
Maybe everything is being backed by writers from various backgrounds, but it disturbs me a little. Maybe I cannot contain it all yet. I want to know Christ and I therefore need Biblical foundation. I need it to be backed by Gods Word. At this moment only questions and doubts arise...


Sorry brother as I mentioned above the first chapter of that book will explain things and lay the scriptural foundation from which he was working off: [url=http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/nee/5f00.0634/5f00.0634.01.htm]Chapter 1 --The Latent Power of the Soul[/url]

here are a few pieces from that chapter:

So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual. (1 Cor. 15.45,46)

And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Gen. 2.7)

Over the past two years I have felt strongly the need of giving such a message as will now be given. It is a message both intricate and profound. It will not be easy for the speaker to speak nor for the hearers to understand. For this reason, I did not insert this message into Part Three of The Spiritual Man.* Yet I have always felt I should give it, especially after having read various books and magazines and having had contact to a certain extent with the people of this world. I sense how precious is the truth we are privileged to know. In view of the current situation and tendency of the church as well as of the world, we are constrained to share what is given to us. Otherwise we will be hiding the lamp under a bushel.

What I would mention in the message for our consideration today concerns spiritual warfare and its relation to the end of this age. Now for the sake of those who have not read The Spiritual Man, I will briefly touch on the trilogy of spirit, soul, and body.

Trilogy of Spirit, Soul, and Body

"And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground" (Gen. 2.7). This refers to the human body. "And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." This describes how God gave spirit to man; it was Adam's spirit. So man's body was formed of the dust of the ground, and man's spirit was given to him by God. "And man became a living soul." After the breath of life had entered into his nostrils man became a living soul. The spirit, the soul, and the body are three separate entities. "May your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire" (1 Thess. 5.23. The spirit is God-given; the soul is a living soul; and the body is God-formed.

According to common understanding the soul is our personality. When the spirit and the body were joined, man became a living soul. The characteristic of the angels is spirit and that of the lower animals such as beasts is flesh. We humans have both spirit and body; but our characteristic is neither spirit nor body but soul. We have a living soul. Hence the Bible calls man soul. For example, when Jacob went down into Egypt with his family, the Scriptures tell us that "all the souls of the house of Jacob, that came into Egypt, were threescore and ten" (Gen. 46.27. Again, those who had received Peter's word on Pentecost were baptised and "there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls" (Acts 2.41. Hence soul stands for our personality, for what makes us as man.

What are the various functions of spirit, soul, and body? These have already been explained in Part One of The Spiritual Man. But I was most happy one day to find on the bookshelf a volume of Andrew Murray's writings in which is to be found an explanation of the spirit, soul, and body in the appended notes that is quite similar to our interpretation. What follows is a quotation from one of the notes: I

In the history of man's creation we read, `The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground'thus was his body made-`and breathed into his nostrils the breath' or spirit `of life': thus his spirit came from God; `and man became a living soul.' The spirit quickening the body made man a living soul, a living person with the consciousness of himself. The soul was the meeting-place, the point of union between body and spirit. Through the body, man, the living soul, stood related to the external world of sense; could influence it, or be influenced by it. Through the spirit he stood related to the spiritual world and the Spirit of God, whence he had his origin; could be the recipient and the minister of its life and power. Standing thus midway between two worlds, belonging to both, the soul had the power of determining itself, of choosing or refusing the objects by which it was surrounded, and to which it stood related.

In the constitution of these three parts of man's nature, the spirit, as linking him with the Divine, was the highest; the body, connecting him with the sensible and animal, the lowest; intermediate stood the soul, partaker of the nature of the others, the bond that united them and through which they could act on each other. Its work, as the central power, was to maintain them in their due relation; to keep the body, as the lowest, in subjection to the spirit; itself to receive through the spirit, as the higher, from the Divine Spirit what was waiting (sic) it for its perfection: and so to pass down, even to the body, that by which it might be partaker of the Spirit's perfection and become a spiritual body. (Andrew Murray, The Spirit of Christ. Fort Washington,PA, Christian Literature Crusade,1964. Note C: The Place of the Indwelling, p227-228.)

What is the spirit? That which makes us conscious of God and relates us to God is the spirit. What is the soul? It is that which relates us to ourselves and gives us self-consciousness. What is the body? It causes us to be related to the world. C. I. Scofield, in his reference Bible, explains that the spirit gives Godconsciousness, the soul self-consciousness, the body world-consciousness. Horse and ox are not conscious of God because they have no spirit. They are only conscious of their own beings. The body causes us to sense the world-such as our seeing the things of the world, our feeling hot or cold, and so forth.

What is mentioned above refers to the functions of spirit, soul, and body. I will now come to the very important problem here. Many view this matter of spirit, soul, and body as being related only to spiritual life; but we need to realize that it is also relevant to spiritual work and warfare. We tend to compare ourselves as being almost equal to Adam before his fall. We assume that since we are human beings just as Adam was, there is not too much difference between us. We think that what we cannot do, neither could Adam do. But we do not see that there are two things here: (a) that on the one hand, it is true that we cannot do what Adam could not do; yet also (b) that we cannot do what Adam could do. I am afraid we do not realize how capable Adam was. If we study the Bible carefully we will understand what kind of man Adam actually was before his fall. [url=http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/nee/5f00.0634/5f00.0634.01.htm]read more...[/url]


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/9/12 9:40Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Quote:
Yes many of Watchman Nee's materials can be confusing to the carnal mind and to those who are still in lower levels of the school of Christ then He was. I have stumbled personally over alot of things he has said in his books, but with perserverance and prayer I have gotten most of the revelation. I do not agree 100% with everything he says and surely he is fallible, but this topic of 'latent soul power' as he terms it is untouched by anyone else and in my mind of utmost importance in our day to understand.


Hi Greg
Your choice of Watchmen Nee for the Newsletter caused me to revisit this particular forum. I share the reservations that have been expressed. I have much sympathy with Nee's line of thinking but am not so happy with its publishing.

I understand that Nee decided that the Spiritual Man (the only book that he actually wrote) should not be republished. His reason, as I recall, was not that he would want the change anything but that it was 'too complete'. It left too little mystery and put things into the public domain that were better learned at the foot of the cross in prayer and meditation.

Nee was heaving indebted to T Austin-Sparks in much of his thinking. There is great insight in both these writers but we need to be cautious, I believe, in propagating extra-biblical revelation. I have touched on this previously in another forum and will see if I can find it. Got it; Soul Ties

The distinction between soul and spirit, according to Hebrews, is possible only as a direct result of 'revelation'. The incoming word of God. It is too easy to then try to lock this revelation down into rules-of-thumb and methodologies. By all means read these men, but be cautious of the 'thus saith Watchman Nee' solution to areas of obscurity.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/14 7:08Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
The distinction between soul and spirit, according to Hebrews, is possible only as a direct result of 'revelation'. The incoming word of God. It is too easy to then try to lock this revelation down into rules-of-thumb and methodologies. By all means read these men, but be cautious of the 'thus saith Watchman Nee' solution to areas of obscurity.


Yes agreed, my intention was to show how Watchman Nee has dealt with and realized the workings of the devil, flesh, soul, that appear to be movings of the Spirit of God. There is a terrible lack of discernment due to lack of biblical knoweldge and experience. Of course there is a very high danger when things are locked down very much and brought into a tight closed explanation without any room for change. Even though this article is weighty and calls for much agreeing to Nee's interpretations its worth it for our other options are close to none. Thats a very intersting note that almost all of Watchman Nee's works were published after his death and were all mostly text transcriptions of his speaking from chinese.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2004/9/14 10:11Profile
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 Re:

Greg,

As you well know, I share with you a keen interest and deep appreciation of Watchman Nee's life, ministry, and work.

I personally think that it would be best to recommend Watchman Nee to people new to his writings through his [i]biographies, devotional writings and short sermons,[/i] where he is at his best. Certainly there would be less controversy.

To others: to understand Watchman Nee, one must first appreciate the historical contex and theological trends of his time, in addition to the spiritual traditions that he had assimilated.

For instance, his writings on the universal and local church must be understood in light of the rampant denominationalism in China at that time. His understanding of tripartite nature of man must be understood in light of the influences from Jessie Penn-Lewis and Keswick writers such as Andrew Murray -- i.e. he was assimilating what was perceived to be the best devotional writings of his time.

A good introductory work would be [i]The Normal Christian Life[/i]. I think part of the reason why it is so popular is that he did not push the trichotomy of human constituents as far as his other writings, apparently because he was addressing a wider audience in Europe.

If we focus on the more speculative parts of Watchman Nee's work, we might end up being enmeshed with so many debates we fail to appreciate the true value of his work. Nee, in many of his sermons and messages, was rock solid in his biblical exposition, and he really had the gift of conveying deep truths in a simple manner.


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Sam

 2004/9/15 11:52Profile
todd
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Joined: 2003/5/12
Posts: 573
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 Re:

Quote:
"Yes many of Watchman Nee's materials can be confusing to the carnal mind and to those who are still in lower levels of the school of Christ then He was."

Or maybe some of them are confusing because 1) they're wrong, or 2) they are "too complete" (i.e. probably wrong somewhere).

It seems to me that there is supposed to be lots of mystery in God and life. Mystery is a wonderful and good thing. It's not darkness. Great is the mystery of godliness. By trying to understand these mysteries and analyze them into perfect logical systems I think we dishonor them (and fall into error at some point).

Maybe he never planned for these writings on the tripart subject to be public. I can understand why. I think some of the things he shares on it are very insightful and maybe helpful, but as others mentioned, probably better left unpublished.

As I learned from Nee's friend T.A. Sparks, we shouldn't always try to crystalize certain mysteries into doctrines and logical systems.

Thanks Ron, for shedding some light on this issue. I would really appreciate it if anyone knows more about Watchman not wanting to republish "The Spiritual Man." If that claim can be substantiated somehow that would be very interestng.

Quote:
"Even though this article is weighty and calls for much agreeing to Nee's interpretations its worth it for our other options are close to none."

Maybe that's because that's where they should be (close to none) as far as publishing goes. As others said, these types of things are probably best learned through personal experience and not reading about it.

 2004/9/17 9:11Profile









 Re: The Christian and Psychic Force

It is perfectly accurate of the human condition. Don't over analyze. That is the flesh when you do so. There is lots of verses in there where they need to be used. Nee had great liberty in the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord!

 2004/10/29 5:32





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