Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Experience of Abraham (Part 6) -- Found but Confounded

He found it.

This was it.

My dad had borrowed the Life-Study of Revelation from the older couple and began to read it. Revelation upon revelation. What has been previously discouraged from digging before have all been excavated for him to enjoy.

Remember how I recounted previously that through the study of the Word, it was revealed to my dad what is commonly known as deification (a.k.a. God's Economy) -- God becoming man to make man God in life and nature but not in the Godhead. Well, this revelation was so common with Brother Lee's writings - he spoke it in such a conversational manner.

So my dad began to dig deeper, get into these truths that Brother Lee opened up so that others may enjoy...

-- I'm going to add an insertion here, because I have been enjoying this lately and I really want to share it with you all. It's the principle of ministry as revealed in 2 Timothy 2:2. In this verse is the principle of ministry, and it reveals five generations. Here's the verse:

"And the things which you have heard from me through many witnesses, these commit to faithful men, who will be competent to teach others also."

So, you can see that "the things" that Paul refers to here is the New Testament vision which was given to him. And like I said, five generations:

1st generation: "me" - referring to Paul
2nd generation: many witnesses
3rd generation: "you" - referring to Timothy
4th generation: faithful men
5th generation: others

What we see is the principle of ministry, which is that the work of the ministry is the passing on of a vision. Paul's ministry was to pass on the vision to many witnesses, through whom Timothy received it as well. Now, Paul encourages Timothy to continue passing this on to faithful men, who will be faithful to pass it onto others. The point that I'm trying to make here is that in our studying of the Word and the truth, we cannot forsake the generations before us. The way we see further is by standing on the shoulders of the generation before us. Their experiences, their studies, their constitution is so that we can stand on their shoulders so we can see further, and if needed, we may be those whom the generation after us may need to stand upon to see the final piece.

God has given His members gifts as revealed in Ephesians 4:12, and to ignore these ones is to reject God's gifts. What does this mean? It means that it's not scriptural that we interpret the Word by our own selves. Note here that I didn't say read or study -- what I'm trying to point out that all our studies and personal interpretations need to be checked by those who have gone before us.

Beginning with Martin Luther and the foundational truth of justification by faith, many church figures in between, the brethren, and others have gone before us. Many like to dispute this, but I have to confess that I have received much help from the ministry of Brother Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. This is because they have stood on the shoulders of others, and have given their lives to have others stand on theirs. I recently read some small portions from Brother Lee's "Four Crucial Elements in the Scriptures?" (can't remember the title exactly), but the gist of it is that in the Bible there are four main elements: Christ, the Spirit, life and the Church. Many others like to put emphasis in minor details - how should we baptize people, what about the presbytery, head-covering, sitting arrangements. NO! The emphasis in the Bible is Christ, the Spirit, life and the Church. In the beginning you have Christ, in the end you have the Church, and in between you have Spirit and life. Without Brother Witness Lee, I probably would have been stuck in the minor details of the Bible ( who is the greatest apostle? what was Paul's background? etc...).

-- Sorry for the tangent. Back to the story. Now I see how and why my dad was able to make the decisions he made. What decisions, you ask?

So he found this ministry and the more he read it, the more light he received. Even in the areas regarding the ground of the church. In Acts it is revealed that the for every city there should be one church. I won't go too much into details here because I have to admit that I am not fully constituted and knowledged to speak on this topic (it's on my list). It was also exposed to my dad that denominations are divisive through their names and practices. As the church, you are the wife and bride of Christ. Yet, many denominations name, categorize, and differentiate themselves as Baptist, Presbyterian, or Adventist. It's like if I had a wife, her name would be Mrs. Bang. Yet, she wants to be called Mrs. Baptist or Mrs. Adventist. You get the point. Anyhow, I have nothing against my fellow brothers and sisters who are members of the Body of Christ. I just hate the system that divides the Body. So my dad decided to rename our denomination. I forget what it was, but it was probably something like Santiago Baptist Church or Korean Santiago Baptist Church? Anyhow, change that to just the Church in Santiago as revealed in Acts and elsewhere (the Church in Antioch, the Church in Ephesus). Simple enough right? Just change the name and we'll be standing in oneness with the universal Body of Christ.

Except, it wasn't that simple. My dad wasn't peaceful. And he kept dwelling on this sense for a period of time. The longer he dwelt on it, the more uncomfortable it became. Well, it happens to be, that there was already a Church in Santiago meeting in the local ground of oneness. So by renaming our congregation as the Church in Santiago, was just a change in shell, not the kernel.

I forget how my dad got in contact with the brothers in Santiago (from the real church in Santiago). It must have again been through that old couple who had ties with the Korean Gospel Book Room. It happens to be, that KGBR had close ties with the Living Stream Ministry (LSM) in Anaheim, California. LSM was founded by Brother Lee himself, and publishes his and Watchman Nee's materials.

Now, isn't this even better!? Finding the source of the flow of riches! Well, there was only one hindrance. My dad had to give up his pastorship.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this testimony has been really touching, Joseph. Thank you for sharing it with us. :)