How is Verification of Apostles done today?

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TheLearner

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2019
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#42
If there are no apostles today how is authority passed down?
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
18,287
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#45
Most of the Christian world says through apostolic secession.
And most of the world would be incorrect. As we can see in Scripture, the apostles were unique in every way. But they understood that they would pass on (sooner than later). So they commanded their companions to appoint elders in every city. And every local church would have a body of elders (also called pastors and bishops interchangeably) within the presbytery (presbyter = presbuteros = elder). There would be no hierarchy of any kind outside the local church. And this pattern would have continued has everyone simply given heed to what the apostles has taught.
 

GodMyFortress

Active member
May 9, 2021
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#46
And most of the world would be incorrect. As we can see in Scripture, the apostles were unique in every way. But they understood that they would pass on (sooner than later). So they commanded their companions to appoint elders in every city. And every local church would have a body of elders (also called pastors and bishops interchangeably) within the presbytery (presbyter = presbuteros = elder). There would be no hierarchy of any kind outside the local church. And this pattern would have continued has everyone simply given heed to what the apostles has taught.
You should probably study early Christianity a lot more. Ignatius of Antioch and Clement of Rome actually lived during the apostolic age and one of them is in the New Testament. Both disagree with you. Both of them are infinitely more credible about the early Christian Church than your 21st century interpretation is.
 

2ndTimothyGroup

Well-known member
Feb 20, 2021
4,623
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#47
And most of the world would be incorrect. As we can see in Scripture, the apostles were unique in every way. But they understood that they would pass on (sooner than later). So they commanded their companions to appoint elders in every city. And every local church would have a body of elders (also called pastors and bishops interchangeably) within the presbytery (presbyter = presbuteros = elder). There would be no hierarchy of any kind outside the local church. And this pattern would have continued has everyone simply given heed to what the apostles has taught.
Seems like a bullseye to me. This is what all of my Bibles point to IMO.
 

GodMyFortress

Active member
May 9, 2021
432
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#49
Simple. There are non in the same since as those 12 Jesus ordained.
Any one who claims otherwise is a liar.
So Paul wasn’t an Apostle? Mathias wasn’t an Apostle?
 

Nebuchadnezzer

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2019
1,134
205
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#50
Mistake on post..#12
- My reply..included in the post ( quoted ) !
----
Here it is.. again.
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Watchman Nee
- He has some spiritual insight..on certain issues.
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His view/belief is close to 'Brethren theology.'
- Possible..influenced by it.
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"..him to be the most godly servant of the 20th century."
- I do not agree..
Informative read on Watchman Nee.
Nee refused, however, to follow [the Exclusive Brethren] practice of isolating themselves from other Christians and rejected their ban on celebrating The Lord's Supper with other Christians. Matters came to a head when Exclusive Brethren leaders learned that during [Watchman Nee's] 1933 visits to the United Kingdom and the United States Nee had broken bread with Honor Oak Christian Fellowship associated with the independent ministry of T. Austin-Sparks and with non-Brethren missionaries who Nee had known in China. After a series of communications Nee received a letter dated 31 August 1935, signed by leading Brethren, severing fellowship with him and his movement.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchman_Nee
 

Mission21

Pathfinder
Mar 12, 2019
679
654
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#52
Informative read on Watchman Nee.
Nee refused, however, to follow [the Exclusive Brethren] practice of isolating themselves from other Christians and rejected their ban on celebrating The Lord's Supper with other Christians. Matters came to a head when Exclusive Brethren leaders learned that during [Watchman Nee's] 1933 visits to the United Kingdom and the United States Nee had broken bread with Honor Oak Christian Fellowship associated with the independent ministry of T. Austin-Sparks and with non-Brethren missionaries who Nee had known in China. After a series of communications Nee received a letter dated 31 August 1935, signed by leading Brethren, severing fellowship with him and his movement.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchman_Nee
From the article(Wikipedia).. you quoted,
"Nee had a unique blend of Brethren theology, the exchanged
life theology of the Keswick conventions and.."
----
If you research/read Nee's books, Brethren theology & Keswick conventions..
- You understand..why the article says,
- "Nee had a unique blend of Brethren theology, the exchanged
life theology of the Keswick conventions and.."
 

Nebuchadnezzer

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2019
1,134
205
63
#53
From the article(Wikipedia).. you quoted,
"Nee had a unique blend of Brethren theology, the exchanged
life theology of the Keswick conventions and.."
----
If you research/read Nee's books, Brethren theology & Keswick conventions..
- You understand..why the article says,
- "Nee had a unique blend of Brethren theology, the exchanged
life theology of the Keswick conventions and.."
He had been exposed to some Brethren theology, is that bad? If so how bad?
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
7,379
1,176
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#55
He had been exposed to some Brethren theology, is that bad? If so how bad?
Nee's ideas about ecclesiology--elders at least-- and church meetings were similar to Brethren ideas--returning to the scriptures.
 

TheLearner

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2019
5,755
959
113
#56
From the article(Wikipedia).. you quoted,
"Nee had a unique blend of Brethren theology, the exchanged
life theology of the Keswick conventions and.."
----
If you research/read Nee's books, Brethren theology & Keswick conventions..
- You understand..why the article says,
- "Nee had a unique blend of Brethren theology, the exchanged
life theology of the Keswick conventions and.."
Lee sounds like a very confused person to me.
 

TheLearner

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2019
5,755
959
113
#57
What is Lee's Theology on the Trinity?

"
Witness Lee’s Trinitarian Orthodoxy A particularly concise yet substantial statement of Witness Lee’s Trinitarian orthodoxy can be found in Lesson 2, “The Triune God,” in volume one of Truth Lessons,6 a series he developed for teaching biblical truth to new believers. Referring to a number of verses, including 1 Corinthians 8:4 and Isaiah 45:5, Witness Lee emphasizes that God is one. Yet he points out that there are intimations of plurality in God in the Old Testament, as in Genesis 1:26 and Isaiah 6:8, where the plural pronouns “Our” and “Us” are used in reference to Him. The plurality is more specifically revealed by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 28:19, where He charges the disciples to go forth and make disciples of all the nations, “baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The singular name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit indicates not only plurality but, more specifically, triunity in God, as Witness Lee explains:
The Lord here clearly speaks of Three—the Father, Son, and Spirit. But when He speaks here of the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit, the name which is used is in the singular number in the original text. This means that though the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three, yet the name is one. It is really mysterious—one name for Three. This, of course, is what is meant by the expression three-one, or triune….This name includes the Three—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and tells us that God is triune. Although God is only one, yet there is the matter of the Three—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.7
Following his affirmation of the triunity of God, Witness Lee demonstrates that there are eternal distinctions among the Father, Son, and Spirit. First, each is said to be God, as, for example, in 1 Peter 1:2, which speaks of “God the Father”; Hebrews 1:8, which applies Psalm 45 to the Son, saying, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever”; and Acts 5:3-4, where Peter confronts Ananias for deceiving the Holy Spirit and thereby not lying to men but to God. Furthermore, Witness Lee affirms that each of the three is eternal, as in Isaiah 9:6, which identifies the “eternal Father”; Hebrews 7:3, where the Son of God, typified by Melchisedec, is without “beginning of days nor end of life”; and Hebrews 9:14, which says that Christ offered Himself to God “through the eternal Spirit.” In his teaching Witness Lee recognized a strong testimony of distinction among the Father, Son, and Spirit in their each being God and each being eternal, a testimony that speaks also to their simultaneous, eternal coexistence. In Truth Lessons Witness Lee further focuses on three portions in the New Testament that reveal the simultaneous coexistence of, and therefore the distinctions among, the three, which forbids their being successive modes of an undifferentiated monadic deity. One passage he cites is Ephesians 3:14-17, the apostle Paul’s prayer for the believers to experience the Triune God. Of these verses Witness Lee writes, “This portion of the Word shows that the Father hears the prayer, the Spirit strengthens the saints, and the Son—Christ—makes His home in our hearts. By this we can also see clearly that all Three coexist simultaneously.”8 He writes further:
Therefore, we do not believe that the Father ceased to exist and was replaced by the Son, then after another period of time the Son was replaced by the Spirit. We believe that the Three—Father, Son, and Spirit—are eternal and co-existent.9
By virtue of their eternal coexistence, as Witness Lee recognized, the three hypostases are eternally distinct. Coexistence, however, is only one aspect of their eternal, mutual relationship in the Godhead. The relationship among the three persons of the Divine Trinity, as Witness Lee points out, “is not only that they simultaneously coexist, but, even more, that they indwell one another mutually,”10 or coinhere. This coinherence indicates their inseparable oneness. Relying particularly on the Gospel of John for textual evidence of coinherence, Witness Lee shows that the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son, so that when the Son comes, He comes with the Father (14:10); that the Son and the Spirit come not only from but also with the Father (6:46; 15:26), as indicated by the dual denotations of the Greek preposition para; and that as the Son comes in the Father’s name (5:43), so the Spirit comes in the Son’s name (14:26), indicating that the Son’s coming is likewise the Father’s coming and that the Spirit’s coming is likewise the Son’s coming. Such identifications among the three are possible because all three coinhere and thus are inseparable. Witness Lee writes:
The Scriptures clearly indicate that when the Son comes, the Father comes with Him; similarly, when the Spirit comes, both the Son and the Father come with Him. Furthermore, when the Son comes, the Father does not come with Him outwardly; rather the Father comes with Him inwardly and subjectively. The Triune God has never been separated. When One moves, the other Two also move with Him. When One is sent, the other Two also come with Him. When the Son comes, He comes in the name of the Father; when He comes, the Father comes. When the Spirit is sent, He is sent in the name of the Son; His being sent is the Son’s being sent. Hence, the Son’s coming is the Father’s coming, and the Spirit’s being sent is the Son’s being sent. The Three—the Father, Son, and Spirit—are one. They cannot be separated for eternity.11
 

TheLearner

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2019
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#58
By teaching coexistence and coinherence, Witness Lee affirmed that the three of the Divine Trinity are each fully God, yet he maintained, as the Christian church has long held, that there are not three Gods but one God in three hypostases. Indeed, our God is the Triune God. As should be clear from this brief presentation,12 Witness Lee’s teaching on the Trinity is entirely orthodox. But despite the clear enunciations of Trinitarian orthodoxy found throughout his ministry, some critics have persisted in denouncing him for teaching heresy. The ostensible reason for those charges, as noted earlier, is that those critics recoil at any identifications between the Father, Son, and Spirit for fear that the distinctions among the three are compromised by the identifications. But when Witness Lee made the identifications, he did so with full reliance on the Scriptures and with the orthodox understanding that while the three are eternally distinct, they are never separate, that is, they exist in an eternal relationship of coexistent coinherence. The Charge of Heresy Answered Modalism Defined and Repudiated In the mid-1970s some critics in the countercult community began to accuse Witness Lee of teaching modalism. That charge is still in circulation despite having been answered thoroughly and repeatedly over the years.13 More recently, he has been faulted for saying that God is “one person,” which critics have flaunted as evidence that modalism was indeed at work in his teaching. Witness Lee understood well the heresy of modalism and taught his listeners concerning its errors, but here it may be helpful to turn to Harold O. J. Brown, a respected authority on heresies in the early church, to define the heresy, both historically and theologically, before further demonstrating that Witness Lee’s teaching was not modalistic. According to Brown, the heresy of modalism (or modalistic monarchianism14 ) began with Praxeas, who arrived in Rome at the end of the second century and taught “not merely that Jesus Christ revealed the Father, but that he actually was the Father.”15 Praxeas was followed in Rome and in the teaching of modalism by Noëtus, Epigonus, and Cleomenes. They, like Praxeas, “taught that the Father himself had suffered and died, and then resurrected himself.”16 In other words, these first modalists taught simply that there is one God, the Father, and that Christ is identical to Him, since, allegedly, there is only one person and not a distinction of persons in the Godhead. Consequently, in their zeal to preserve the oneness of God, these teachers forsook the distinct personhood of Christ and, implicitly, of the Spirit, and thus denied the genuine triunity of God. Under Sabellius, who was in Rome in the early third century, the doctrine took on its more developed form, now known as Sabellianism. In this more sophisticated form of the doctrine, Sabellius held that God is “one Person (hypostasis), three names.”17 For Sabellius the names of Father, Son, and Spirit “merely describe different forms of revelation; the Son revealed the Father as a ray reveals the sun. Now the Son has returned to heaven, and God reveals himself as the Holy Spirit.”18 In this teaching the one God reveals Himself in successive stages, or “modes,” of Father, Son, and Spirit in time, but the modes, though genuine manifestations of the one God, are not eternal realities. As in its simpler form, this more developed modalism, while seeking to preserve the oneness of the Trinity, denies the eternal, simultaneous coexistence of the Father, Son, and Spirit and, therefore, is heretical. In the following excerpt, one of many similar passages in his ministry,19 Witness Lee demonstrates his understanding of modalism and why a modalistic view of the Trinity must be repudiated as heresy:
Modalism is another heresy, resulting from taking an extreme position. Its leading exponent was Sabellius, who claimed that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit were not eternally co-existent. In modalistic thinking the Three are merely three successive manifestations of the divine Being or three temporary modes of His activity. Passages like Isaiah 9:6, where the Son is called the everlasting Father, and John 14:9, where the Lord says, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” are used to support modalism’s position. Just as tritheism pushed the matter of the three Persons too far and ended up with three Gods, so modalism pushed the oneness of the Godhead too far and taught that when the Son came the Father was over, and when the Spirit came the Son was over. This teaching we cannot accept.20
 

TheLearner

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2019
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#59
Coinherence, Incorporation, Economy: Witness Lee’s Basis for Understanding the Mutual Identifications in the Divine Trinity At this point some may wonder, “If Witness Lee taught orthodox Trinitarian doctrine and eschewed the error of modalism, why was he accused of teaching heresy?” The question is legitimate, and we can best begin to answer it more thoroughly by first referring to three verses that Witness Lee made frequent reference to in his ministry:
For a child is born to us, A Son is given to us; And the government Is upon His shoulder; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isa. 9:6) So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul”; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit. (1 Cor. 15:45) And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor. 3:17)​
In these verses the Son is called “Eternal Father”; the last Adam, Christ, is said to have become “a life-giving Spirit”; and the Lord, Christ, is said to be the Spirit. Some expositors have relied on linguistic or interpretive devices to explain away the identifications of the Son with the Father and of Christ with the Spirit in an effort to guard against modalism,21 but Witness Lee did not, choosing instead to affirm the simple declarations of the Bible, though not to understand them simplistically. Rather, he understood that the identifications rely on the oneness of essence in the Divine Trinity and on the coinherence and incorporation of the three persons. Concerning essence, coinherence, and incorporation he writes:
We may say that the Triune God has three persons but only one essence; the persons should not be confounded and the essence should not be divided; the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three in person, but They are one in essence.22 Among the three of the Divine Trinity, there is distinction but no separation. The Father is distinct from the Son, the Son is distinct from the Spirit, and the Spirit is distinct from the Son and the Father. But we cannot say that They are separate, because They coinhere, that is, They live within one another. In Their coexistence the three of the Godhead are distinct, but Their coinherence makes them one. They coexist in Their coinherence, so They are distinct but not separate.23 The three of the Divine Trinity are an incorporation by coinhering mutually and by working together as one. This means that the three of the Divine Trinity are an incorporation by what They are and by what They do.24
Because the three are an incorporation “by what They are and by what They do,” when one of the three acts distinctly to carry out the divine economy, He incorporates the operations of the other two in His manifest action, so that the Bible frequently identifies one with the other without compromising the eternal distinctions among them. The words of the Lord Jesus in John 14 provide testimony to the reality of incorporation and mutual identification: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who abides in Me does His works” (v. 10). Here the Son manifestly acts (“the words that I say to you”) and the Father operates distinctly in Him (“the Father who abides in Me does His works”); thus, the Son does not speak from Himself but from the Father who abides in Him. Therefore, the Son could say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (v. 9), because in His distinct and manifest action He incorporated the operations of the Father and thus was identified with the Father. Isaiah, then, could rightly prophesy that the Son would be called “Eternal Father” (Isa. 9:6). Nevertheless, the eternal distinction between the Son and the Father is not jeopardized by their mutual identification. Witness Lee writes:
We can say that the Father and the Son are one because the Lord Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). However, although the Father and the Son are one, between Them there is still a distinction of I and the Father. We must not disregard this point, because if we do, we would become modalists.25
As the Son incorporates the Father and thus can be called “Eternal Father,” so the Spirit incorporates Christ and makes Him real and practical in the living and experience of the believers. It is, therefore, in the realm of the believers’ experience that Christ is said to have become “a life-giving Spirit” and even to be “the Lord Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18), for it is through the Spirit’s incorporation of Christ that Christ comes to the believers to work out the full effect of God’s salvation in them. In other words, a transfer of manifest action occurred in the resurrection of Christ, whereby the Spirit now acts manifestly to bear Christ, whose hidden operations the Spirit incorporates in His manifest activity, to the believers. It is in this experiential and economical sense that Witness Lee understood the various titles of the Spirit that indicate His coinherence with the Father and with the Son, including “the Spirit of God” (Rom. 8:9; 1 John 4:2); “the Spirit of your Father” (Matt. 10:20); “the Spirit of the Lord” (Acts 5:9; 2 Cor. 3:17); “the Spirit of His Son” (Gal. 4:6); “the Spirit of Christ” (Rom. 8:9; 1 Pet. 1:11); “the Spirit of Jesus” (Acts 16:7); “the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19); and “the Lord Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18). The Spirit, therefore, incorporates the operations of the Father and the Son, and He acts to make the Son, the embodiment of the Father, an experiential reality in the believers. Thus, “the Lord,” Paul says, “is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:17). Witness Lee was not the only Bible teacher to recognize the identifications among the Father, Son, and Spirit or to apply them to the believers’ experience. A number of scholars have written on this matter, but here a few examples will suffice to make the point. Writing in the early twentieth century, the noted Baptist theologian Augustus H. Strong, referencing also Charles Gore, offered this remarkably clear description of the identifications in the Godhead based on “the oneness of essence” and the “intercommunion” of the three persons:
This oneness of essence explains the fact that, while Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as respects their personality, are distinct subsistences, there is an intercommunion of persons and an immanence of one divine person in another which permits the peculiar work of one to be ascribed…to either of the others, and the manifestation of one to be recognized in the manifestation of another. The Scripture representations of this intercommunion prevent us from conceiving of the distinctions called Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as involving separation between them… This intercommunion also explains the designation of Christ as “the Spirit,” and of the Spirit as “the Spirit of Christ,” as 1 Corinthians 15:45: “the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit”; 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is the Spirit”;… [Charles] Gore, Incarnation [of the Son of God], 218—“The persons of the Holy Trinity are not separable individuals. Each involves the others; the coming of each is the coming of the others. Thus the coming of the Spirit must have involved the coming of the Son.”26
"
https://an-open-letter.org/en/ets-2016-the-divine-trinity-in-the-teaching-of-witness-lee/
 

TheLearner

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2019
5,755
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#60
I will post the controversial statements by lee later for our Local Church Friends to clarify.

Economy and Dispensing of God

me: we are
of the human nature, but covered with the divine. He is the God-man, and we are
the God-men. He is the ark made of wood covered with gold, and we are the
boards made of wood covered with gold. In number we are different, but in
nature we are exactly the same.” — The All-Inclusive Christ, p.103 (1989)
“God can say to His believers, ‘I am divine and human,’ and His believers can
reply, ‘Praise You, Lord. You are divine and human, and we are human and
divine’.” — The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man, pp. 51-52 (1990)
“My burden is to show you clearly that God’s economy and plan is to make
Himself man and to make us, His created beings, ‘God,’ so that He is ‘man-ized’
and we are ‘God-ized.’ In the end, He and we, we and He, all become Godmen.”— A Deeper Study of the Divine Dispensing, p. 54 (1990)
“We the believers are begotten of God. What is begotten of man is man, and
what is begotten of God must be God. We are born of God; hence, in this sense,
we are God.” — A Deeper Study of the Divine Dispensing, p. 53 (1990)
“Because the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all one with the Body of Christ,
we may say that the Triune God is now the ‘four-in-one’ God. These four are the
Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the Body. The Three of the Divine Trinity cannot be
confused or separated, and the four-in-one also cannot be separated or
confused.” — A Deeper Study of the Divine Dispensing, p. 203-204 (1990)

http://www.tbaptist.com/clientimages/48350/challengerarticles/thedangerofwitnessleebooks.pdf

Witness Lee friends, what is the context of the above quotes?
What is your understanding of those texts?

Thanks,
Daniel