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Agent001
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Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

Hi all,

The most helpful post I have read is [b]philologos's[/b] starting with "Perhaps if I can tease out..." His description of the Brethren's distinction between one's [i]position[/i] and [i]experience[/i] is quite correct.

However, that is not to say that Watchman Nee did not seek to [i]experience[/i] the baptism of the Holy Spirit. With the help of some missionaries, he also experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit; he testified so in his own public testimony.

The terminologies by which he interpret his experience might be different from other teachers, but I do think they are really pointing at the same authentic experience. He would not have called his experience as "[i]receiving[/i] the Holy Spirit," but he would say he was "[i]empowered[/i] by the Holy Spirit". He believed that the Spirit is received at conversion (the "[b]indwelling[/b] of the Spirit"), but he also acknowledged that the Spirit's empowerment can be experienced and manifested in a more outward manner subsequent to conversion (the "[b]outpouring[/b] of the Spirit").

As such, I do not think Nee would find Tozer's description to be in conflict with his own view. He would have seen Tozer's words as the description of the "outpouring" (or filling) of the Spirit.

In understanding Watchman Nee, one must be careful not to rigidly fit him into the box of one particular theological system. He was also the one who introduced Christians from diverse traditions such as A. B. Simpson, Tozer, Madam Guyon, Brother Lawrence, Andrew Murray, T. Austin-Sparks etc. to the Chinese church.

Also, I would like to point out that the "reckoning" that Watchman Nee talks about is not just affirming a "logical conclusion drawn from doctrinal premises"; that would be a major misunderstanding of Nee's theology. A spiritual or mystical insight (he calls it "revelation"; others will probably use the term "illumination") is necessary, not just mental assent.


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Sam

 2005/10/13 17:03Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Sam
glad to have 'teased' you out with these comments. Very helpful. Thank you. I can see the logic of Watchman Nee's line on the 'outpouring' or 'release' of the Spirit but although it may be a legitimate way of expressing a personal testimony I can't see a real biblical basis for this. Outpourings come from heaven, Biblically, rather than from the saint.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/10/13 17:50Profile
coops
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Joined: 2004/6/28
Posts: 141


 Re:

Yeah [b]philologos[/b] that was a really good post that made it very clear to me. I think both of them are trying to pull away from the two vices of their culture. Tozer is pulling away from dead intellectualism, and Nee is pulling away from legalism...

Quote:
I can see the logic of Watchman Nee's line on the 'outpouring' or 'release' of the Spirit but although it may be a legitimate way of expressing a personal testimony I can't see a real biblical basis for this. Outpourings come from heaven, Biblically, rather than from the saint



...Nee said something along the lines of not seeing a biblical basis for tarrying and waiting on God for such an experience. He said that do something on our own strength would be to take glory away from God, so He has already done everything that we have to just now recieve. (Sorry, still playing the 'devils' advocate)

This is such a good thread, so full of wisdom!

Note: I go to a church that believes in a second blessing expereince, that is sought after in mettings at the altar and people pray for those that want to be filled and many speak in tounges, I have also seen 'the lame walk and the blind see' literally.
There is no need to talk about the doctrine of my church because I'm well aware of all the issues surrounding it, but did find this: I have sought this second blessing years ago and had to check on the 'expereince' because it didn't revolutionise my prayer life or empower me to do God's work. I have also spent hours travailing in prayer, and a year trying to 'die to self'.
Once I hit on this reckoning thing it has come so easily and I have lived in just newness of life, one friend even said it was like I was suddenly 'glowing'. So that is why I'm trying to understand why my experience doesn't line up with what I've been taught. :-(


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Coops

 2005/10/13 18:10Profile
dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: magic

I believe you're right there, Word of Faith movement does utilize alot of formulas to work God into a box. I always felt what they really were doing was creating work arounds to circumvent God's Sovereinty.


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D.Miller

 2005/10/13 19:26Profile
Agent001
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Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

[b]philologos:[/b]

Quote:
glad to have 'teased' you out with these comments. Very helpful. Thank you. I can see the logic of Watchman Nee's line on the 'outpouring' or 'release' of the Spirit but although it may be a legitimate way of expressing a personal testimony I can't see a real biblical basis for this. Outpourings come [b]from heaven[/b], Biblically, rather than [b]from the saint[/b].



I think it would be a misunderstanding to say that Nee suggested that "outpourings" come from within the believer, not from heaven. If it were so, he would not have used the distinctions of "[b]in[/b]dwelling" and "[b]out[/b]pouring."

For Nee, the [i]outpouring[/i] of the Spirit is [b]not[/b] the same as the [i]release[/i] of the Spirit. The latter is the process by which the dying to self leads to the expression of Christ's life in us. The former is the outward and external manifestations brought about by the Spirit from on high in the manner of Acts 2. The Spirit dispenses gifts from heaven and empowers us for service - that's the outpouring of the Spirit.

One of Nee's co-workers gave the account of Nee and others ministering in the rural area of China, they came across some Pentecostals. The co-workers were very concerned about the emotional outbursts and manifestations expressed in the meetings, to which Watchman Nee calmly said, "The Spirit works in many different forms."

As in other doctrines, Nee did not strictly follow the lines of the Brethren even though he was greatly influenced by them. That's why he was rejected by the Taylorites.

I hope this is clear. Sometimes I thought I was clear, and then realized from other's response that because we have different preconceived theological assumptions, miscommunication occurs.


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Sam

 2005/10/14 12:21Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
The former is the outward and external manifestations brought about by the Spirit from on high in the manner of Acts 2. The Spirit dispenses gifts from heaven and empowers us for service - that's the outpouring of the Spirit.


Sam
Thank you for this clarification. Does this mean that Nee envisaged an experience 'distinct from and subsequent to, new birth' as expressed by the Pentecostals?

Quote:
As in other doctrines, Nee did not strictly follow the lines of the Brethren even though he was greatly influenced by them. That's why he was rejected by the Taylorites.

I had thought that this was due to his refusal to be 'exclusive' in maintaining fellowship with the likes of T Austin Sparks?


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Ron Bailey

 2005/10/14 13:54Profile
Agent001
Member



Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

Quote:
Thank you for this clarification. Does this mean that Nee envisaged an experience 'distinct from and subsequent to, new birth' as expressed by the Pentecostals?



Nee accepts the possibility, though not necessity, of experience(s) "distinct from and subsequent to, new birth." I think he sees it not as an evidence of new birth, but an empowerment for service.

He teaches that all genuine Christians receive the Spirit at conversion, which may or may not include dramatic manifestations. But he also teaches that the Spirit may act subsequent to new birth, especially in relation to endowing gifts to believers for ministering the church.

In practice, churches following his teachings do not hold meetings to pray for the Spirit's outpouring. Like I said, the emphasis has always been on the Spirit's indwelling; also, I think they do not want to be identified with the Pentecostals. But "outpouring" sometimes, though rarely, happens spontaneously.

Quote:
I had thought that this was due to his refusal to be 'exclusive' in maintaining fellowship with the likes of T Austin Sparks?



Yes, that is the last straw that pushed the Brethren to act. In ecclesiology, Watchman Nee would be in-between the Exclusive and Open Brethren (in my opinion, anyways).

But before that, Nee mentioned how the Brethren debated with him on "Partial Rapture" and other issues regarding eschatology. He was more of a "moderate" dispensationalist. For example, he could not accept the notion that passages such as the Sermon on the Mount are for a future dispensation rather than the present -- his very last series of sermons and bible studies were on the Gospel of Matthew.


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Sam

 2005/10/14 15:29Profile





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