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KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Quote:

There is no "Little Flock" movement as such in the US. Even though WL claims to have carried on from WN, that is not true; WL's movement is radically different from the "Little Flock" in China. WL's movement is called "The Local Church" or "The Lord's Recovery", never it is, or should be, referred to as the "Little Flock".



Correct. Witness Lee's offshoot is not the same, though of course, he would have begged to differ. You are right as well, it is called "The Local Church" here in the states. It's been a while since I've done any reading on the issue, so I could not recall exactly what it was called.

Quote:

Third, you speak of WN's theology growing over time. For some things it should be so. (Of course I don't refer to what we call "the foundamentals of the Christian faith")



Indeed. I can even look at my own web site that I have maintained for a couple years now, and see that I even disagree with some of the things which at the time I asserted with much confidence. Such is perfectly fine, and can often be a sign of health, for somebody to be willing to change a doctrinal position they previously held, especially considering how stubborn we can all be. Indeed, fundamentally he seems to have remained the same. Though regarding his doctrines regarding the church, he seems to have changed quite a bit. And being that Nee was a highly motivated missionary, and very active in planting new churches, I can only imagine how this must have effected his oversight of his churches.

It is also interesting enough to note that Nee seems to have considered his doctrine regarding the Church relatively a pretty important fundamental. I recall in one of his writings where he refused to have fellowship with other denominational churches in the area, because they did not meet under the headship of Christ.


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Jimmy H

 2005/8/1 12:18Profile
PreachParsly
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Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Quote:
But I'd like to hear where you disregard Jessie Penn-Lewis.

Some say she taught that Christians can be demon "possessed", but I didn't get that from the book. I know she said, oppressed.
I recently read her book a second time. The first time was in about '85 also.
I don't find the introspection in her writings.



Here are a couple of threads about JPL. I just posted them for FYI. To discuss JPL it would probably be better to start another thread on her.. I don't know but there might already be one somewhere.
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=5539&forum=41&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=1]War on the Saints[/url]
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=5659&forum=36]Types of believers[/url]
The thread on Types of belivers starts with a quote from the book. Type 2 she clearly tells that she belives (I do not)they are possesed


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Josh Parsley

 2005/8/1 15:54Profile
Manfred
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Joined: 2005/4/4
Posts: 342
Continental Europe

 Re: JPL

Josh,

We can, should and must reject the teaching that says that born-from-above believers can be demon possessed simply because it is not taught in the New Testament. We cannot find one verse that will back this up. I am amazed that JPL and Evan Roberts could write so much about this without having any support from the New Testament, and it is even more amazing to see that many Christians believe it! Obviously these ones have not apllied Acts 17:11.

Manfred

 2005/8/1 17:45Profile
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

I'm somewhat leary of responding cause I dont want to get off tract here but I assume it does have something to do with the topic, since Watchmen Nee did read JPL books. I have heard that Evan Roberts did regret having his name on the book War on the Saints. From what I have read and seen JPL completely drug Evan Roberts away from the ministry. I think (i cant remember the exact number) that Evan Roberts only preached 8 or 10 times after being taken in by JPL.


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Josh Parsley

 2005/8/1 17:58Profile
Manfred
Member



Joined: 2005/4/4
Posts: 342
Continental Europe

 Re:

I wouldn't want to expand too much here about JPL and ER, by doing a search on SI, one can find quite a few threads of the past about them and even on "War on the Saints".

Watchman Nee is the subject of this thread. You may want to start another one about JPL and ER.

(For your information there is a good biography of ER: "Evan Roberts: An Instrument of Revival, Brynmor Pierce-Jones 1995, published by Bridge Publishing")

Manfred

 2005/8/1 18:43Profile
Koinonia2
Member



Joined: 2003/8/8
Posts: 118
USA

 Re:

If I might continue the discussion on the different English editions/translations of Watchman Nee, I would just add that I agree with Manfred in the usefulness of going through Nee's writings according to their order of original publication.

I have two full sets Nee's books (one called "complete", the other "collected") here. One of these is published in a chronological format. Just to compare the first volume (written when Nee was still a very young man in his early 20's) with the last (immediately prior to his imprisonment) is very striking. General differences are very noticeable. I think there can be little doubt that Nee's theology, tone, and even his style gradually changed as he matured.

Perhaps it would be of interest here to show an example with two texts, one from the beginning of Nee's public ministry, followed by another from near the end:

Quote:
Throughout church history, there has never been a time when messages on the cross are as needed as today. For the present-day Christians, who, being Christians, are obviously redeemed by the blood, the most important thing is to know and to experience the deeper aspects of the fundamental truths of the cross. It is, of course, a glorious thing to know about the substitutional death of the cross, but this will not afford the believers much growth. All the things that Christ has accomplished for us on the cross must be experienced by us one by one before we can mature in life and can become a vessel for God.

~[i]The Christian Life and Warfare[/i], pg. 6, 1922 (Watchman Nee is just 19!)


Quote:
God desires to express His authority through the church. Many people do not realize that the church is a crucial and solemn institution. God must carry out His will fully through the church; the church cannot afford any hindrance to Him. If a man does not see the seriousness of this matter, he may presume the church to be nothing but a gathering of Christians, a society of brotherly and sisterly love. He may consider the church a mere gthering of men with the same faith or same love who cherish the same future hope. However, God has a different view toward the church. In man's eyes the church is an organization, a gathering of men with kindred love, but God's view is different. He considers the church to be the Body of Christ. God has made Christ the head of the church. The church is the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23); it is not merely the gathering of men with similar goals. The relationship between Christ and the church in God's ordination is a relationship between the Head and the Body.

~[i]Miscellaneous Records of the Kuling Training (1)[/i], pg. 166, 1948 (WN is 45)



Not only is Nee touching deeper, more difficult matters by the second quote, there is even a clear difference between the form of the first (being a published article) and the form of the second (being a spoken address).

Unrelated to this, but allow me also to show the difference between two translations of the same book as edited by two different people. The first is from Stephen Kaung's publisher; the second from Witness Lee's:

Quote:
The word "flesh" is [i]basar[/i] in Hebrew and [i]sarx[/i] in Greek. Seen often in the Bible, it is used in various ways. Its most significant usage, observed and made most clear in Paul's writings, has reference to the unregenerated person. Speaking of his old "I," he says in Romans 7: "I am fleshly" (v. 14 Darby). Not merely his nature or a particular person of his being is fleshly; the "I" - Paul's whole being - is fleshly. He reiterates this thought in verse 18 by asserting "within me, that is, in my flesh." It follows clearly that "flesh" in the Bible points to all an unregenerated person is....

~[i]The Spiritual Man[/i], CFP, pg. 69


Quote:
The word [i]flesh[/i] is [i]basar[/i] in Hebrew and [i]sarx[/i]in Greek. This word is often seen in the Bible and is used in various senses, but chiefly in reference to an [i]unregenerated person[/i]. If we take a look at what Paul has said, we shall have a clear insight into its meaning. He said, "[i]I[/i] am [i]fleshy[/i]" (Rom. 7:14). It was not only his nature or merely any one part of his being that was fleshy; it was "I" as a person, the [i]whole being[/i] of Paul was fleshy. In verse 18, in further clarification of his meaning, he declared "In [i]me[/i], that is, in [i]my flesh[/i]." It is very clear here that the flesh in biblical usage refers to all that is in man when he is still in an unregenerated state....

~[i]The Spiritual Man[/i], LSM, pg. 59



For all practical purposes, these two quotes could be one and the same (the reason, coincidentally, that I choose [i]The Spiritual Man[/i] here is only because, as Manfred has pointed out earlier, it the only actual [i]book[/i] [i]written[/i] by WN, and thus easier to compare....I chose the portion randomly).

In doing all of this, I hope it can be a clarification for those who wonder about differences in WN's writings (it is not uncommonly brought up). I do not want to give the impression that I study Nee more than I study the Holy Word! Surely, this would be ridiculous. But it is something that interests me, and something I have spent time looking into.

Personally, I prefer to read CFP's translations. I find I have an easier time reading them. However, I know others who would say the exact converse! CFP's translations seem to be edited more thoroughly in order to give them a literary polish (vs. spoken form being retained) - slightly more "elegant", less repetition. For me, this makes for an easier time reading. LSM's translations come across as more plain and straightforward. The spoken form is retained. One might argue that LSM's are actually more "accurate" than CFP's (though I am not arguing that at all). It seems to be a matter of preference.

I think either set is very worthy. Remember, not only are most of these redacted from individuals' shorthand notes (no tape recording from which to transcribe!), they are also translated from a language which is [i]entirely[/i] different from our own. Being a multi-lingual person, I am very familiar with the fact that two different people can translate the same text and, without consulting the other, come up with two similar, but quite different end-results. Both may be [i]entirely[/i] accurate to the original, and yet elicit the response, "How do they differ so?" That's just the way it is...

As others have said, I would be more cautious as to choosing [i]which[/i] of the books you read. Some are not recommeded, especially to younger believers.

Regards,


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Daniel

 2005/8/1 19:00Profile
TruthWitness
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Joined: 2005/8/8
Posts: 2


 Re: Watchman Nee

Watchman Nee had a very great impact on my life, going back to 1967 when I read "The Normal Christian Life" for the first time. I regard the chapter entitled "Why This Waste?" on the woman with the alabaster flask, as one of the messages that had the most profound influence on my life.

However, I have long stopped reading Watchman Nee and it is not because I reject him. Not at all. I believe the greatest problem with Watchman Nee was that with most things in his life it became a "law" and I believe in the end he could not get away from his own personal "laws".

He had this thing about "locality" which he adopted from the Brethren teachers. To him you simply could not get past this principle. While he was in England in 1937-1938 he spent a lot of time with T. Austin Sparks, about 18 months altogether (Manfred can correct me on this). The matter of locality frequently came up in fellowship and TAS even went so far as to print "Concerning Our Missions" (with the later English title "The Normal Christian Church Life"). However, this book was never distributed and I have a feeling it was by mutual agreement.

That was the turning point in Watchman Nee's life: had he given up his strong opinion on "locality" and had he built on his relationship with T. Austin-Sparks, I believe the remaining years of his ministry could have been much different. He had embraced so much of others (Penn-Lewis, Govett, Panton, Pember, Godet, Lang and many others, including John Nelson Darby, from which he took over extreme dispensational teachings) but he was unable to let go of some, including the Brethren teaching of "locality".

Watchman Nee and TAS never saw each other again and until Nee's imprisonment in 1952 seldom corresponded by letter. However, in a letter to Austin-Sparks not long after his visit, he lamented that he did not have a true soulmate amongst his co-workers, someone with whom he could fellowship on an equal footing.

It is my humble opininion that Watchman Nee's views on "locality" cost him much in terms of acceptance to a wider audience, which I believed he deserved. His strict "laws" has made him somewhat unpalatable to most. In my own case, I just had to let go of him.

Just a passing note: like Manfred pointed out, Nee's "Little Flock" and Witness Lee's "Local Church" are not the same. They are much the same on several points of teaching but Lee's practices were somewhat dubious, to say the least.

 2005/8/8 18:12Profile
Manfred
Member



Joined: 2005/4/4
Posts: 342
Continental Europe

 Re: Watchman Nee

Quote:
While he was in England in 1937-1938 he spent a lot of time with T. Austin Sparks, about 18 months altogether (Manfred can correct me on this).



Actually, according to different sources, Watchman Nee spent 10 months in Europe; from July 1938 to May 1939.


I don't think personally that Watchman Nee was as dogmatic as Witness Lee on the "ground of the church", viz. one church per locality. Sure, he held and taught this view for many years, which he had picked up from the Brethren. But I think that with time and maturity, he would have seen that this system was not only not practical, but it wasn't in accord with the Scriptures.

For one thing, T. Austin-Sparks didn't adhere to this teaching, and if only he and Watchman Nee had had the opportunity to fellowship about this matter, I think that Watchman Nee would have changed his views. Unfortunately he did not have the time to rethink and reconsider this matter.

Witness Lee pushed it to extremes, so as to become very exclusive.

Manfred

 2005/8/12 6:20Profile
baruch_48
Member



Joined: 2005/5/31
Posts: 78


 Re:

Witness Lee's gotten a bad rap, I feel, amongst the Church at large - not that I disagree with the sense that he did go to "extremes" concerning the idea of 'locality.'

I do feel that's the main separating point from his stream of ministry and Brother Nee's, perhaps moreso than Nee from Sparks ( over the thought of locality ). But I'm an outsider to the why's and wherefore's of their dividings.

How it must sadden the Lord's heart, to see these dividings over time .... yet under His sovereign provenance.

I am curious to see if the Lord is going to bring these separated 'streams' together, as we reach the end of this age.

The little flock in China, with the so-called 'shouters' ....

the Stephen Kaung 'adherents' with the Witness Lee 'adherents' in North America, Taiwan, and other parts of the earth

at this point in time, I don't believe there would be many fellowships that would say they divide over Nee and Sparks, though

It's been refreshing reading this thread, seeing many here use discernment in the teachings of a so-called "giant" like Brother Nee.

I've always had the impression that he's one saint in particular that his devotees won't question.

I too have profited through his teachings ( mainly The Release of the Spirit ) .. and I don't find him " too mystical " at all. But I do find The Spiritual Man to have been too "wallowing" in peeling the onion of the human soul, which I stayed away from, as that's my carnal tendency too much.

Refreshing thread!

baruch

 2005/8/27 5:18Profile
Strick
Member



Joined: 2005/7/24
Posts: 19


 Re: Demons and believers

Quote:

Manfred wrote:
Josh,

We can, should and must reject the teaching that says that born-from-above believers can be demon possessed simply because it is not taught in the New Testament. We cannot find one verse that will back this up. I am amazed that JPL and Evan Roberts could write so much about this without having any support from the New Testament, and it is even more amazing to see that many Christians believe it! Obviously these ones have not apllied Acts 17:11.

Manfred



We really can't believe that everything that there is to know about the spiritual realm is included in the Bible. One missionary speaking at our church was amazed that he had to cast a demon out of a Christian-his church's traditions said it wasn't possible. But, God showed him that she was born again. When illuminated on the subject, he was shown that though they can't get into your spirit, they can get into your body if you let them. Or if, in this case, you are an African brought up in a demonic religion. Getting saved doesn't automatically cast all of them away from you. There is quite a difference between our spirits and our souls and our bodies.

May all the blessings of the Bible overtake you. Deut. 28:2

 2005/8/27 8:42Profile





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