Author : Various Authors
Publisher : Living Stream Ministry
Number of Pages : 245
Category : Religion
Viewed : 1648
Book Summary: This issue of The Ministry of the Word contains the nine messages given during the International Training for Elders and Responsible Ones in Gold Coast, Australia, on October 6 through 8, 2016. The general subject of this series of messages is "Returning to the Orthodoxy of the Church." We urgently need to come back to the orthodoxy of the apostolic church. The orthodoxy of the church is the church according to the teaching and practice of the apostles. What is orthodox is the New Testament apostles' vision, revelation, teaching, practice, direction, and ministry. In the mid 1940s Watchman Nee gave the messages published in The Orthodoxy of the Church. In the preface to the English edition, Witness Lee writes, "What we urgently need today is to come back to the orthodoxy of the beginning and stand firmly on the ground of locality" (The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 47, p. 6). In The Orthodoxy of the Church Watchman Nee is one with the Lord to identify what is not normal and what is degradation; he also identifies what is the orthodoxy of the church--the apostolic church as revealed in the New Testament. In this issue we will see from Revelation 2 and 3 that only the church in Philadelphia returned to the orthodoxy of the church. We may already have some knowledge about this subject. However, we need to be in fear and trembling lest we would have confidence in our knowledge and understanding and think that there is nothing new to see, gain, or experience. To have such an attitude is to have the spirit of the Laodiceans, who boasted and said, "I am wealthy and have become rich and have need of nothing" (Rev. 3:17). In principle, the elders and responsible brothers are the messengers representing the church, are responsible for the church, have a heart to care for the church, and recognize that they are under the Lord's direct authority concerning the church. The Spirit speaks to the churches; the Son of Man, however, speaks to the messengers. The entire book of Revelation is the revelation of the person of Jesus Christ and not the revelation of locusts, beasts, or so many other things. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ, through Jesus Christ, and concerning Jesus Christ. If we  are to return to the orthodoxy of the church, we cannot merely return to teachings and practices; we must return by way of the person, Jesus Christ, the One who knows the situation of every local church and of every messenger of every local church. If we have an increasing vision of what is most on God's heart for His eternal satisfaction--the bride, the wife, the New Jerusalem--we will be beside ourselves in the Spirit. In the first three chapters of Revelation we can see how the Lord cares for the churches. Even in His awesome majesty, He must judge them in order to gain them. In the final two chapters the Lord Jesus sent His angel for the particular purpose that all His dear churches would see the final vision (cf. 22:16). From the beginning to the end, the Lord cares for the churches. This word should at least give us a heart to see what John saw and to treasure and care for it. The Reports and Announcements section at the end of this issue contains the winter 2016 mass distribution update, a list of upcoming conferences and trainings hosted by Living Stream Ministry, and a website link for information related to similar events in Europe.