What Man Thinks Important...
1 Sam 16:7 (NIV) But the Lord said unto Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height... The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
James 2:4-7 (Phi) Doesn't that prove that you are making class distinctions in your mind, and setting yourselves up to assess a man's quality from the wrong motives? For do notice, my dear brothers, that God chose poor men, whose only wealth is their faith, and made them heirs to the kingdom promised to those who love him... Look around you. Isn't it the rich who are always trying to rule your lives, isn't it the rich who drag you into litigation? Isn't it usually the rich who blaspheme the glorious name by which you are known?
John 7:24 (NIV) "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment."
God Does Not Agree With Our Value System
Isa 40:17 (NIV) Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded as worthless and less than nothing.
Luke 16:15b (NIV) What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
On Watchman Nee's Book
Obviously, this Bible study is a direct rejoinder to Watchman Nee's book titled "Spiritual Authority", as the basic thesis of his book comes into stark conflict with the clear teaching of Our Lord.
To be very direct, we believe that his book "Spiritual Authority" is the principle vehicle for promoting the "Nicolaitan" doctrine in our time. Watchman, whom God gave so much grace, erred greatly here by resorting to fleshly tactics with what had begun in the Spirit, and there are many today who still resonate and delight with his compromise.
The odd, even tragic thing, is that with all of the insightful and godly teachings of Watchman Nee, this book would be his most popular--with its Scripture twisting and direct attack on our Lord's instruction being shamelessly promoted by carnal Christians who "want a 'King' over them", who make it required reading in "discipleship courses", and the like. With what Watchman must now know, he surely must weep.
We should too, and repent from this wickedness. It makes our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ very angry when we promote and practice the exact opposite what he so clearly taught us and emphasized. "Why do you call me Lord... and no not do what I say?"
The First Will Be Last and The Last First
Mat 20:25-28 (KJV) But Jesus called them unto him, and said, "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
1 Pet 5:1-4 (Wey) So I exhort the Elders among you--I who am their fellow Elder and have been an eye-witness of the sufferings of the Christ, and am also a sharer in the glory which is soon to be revealed. Be shepherds of God's flock which is among you. Exercise the oversight not reluctantly but eagerly, in accordance with the will of God; not for base gain but with cheerful minds; not lording it over your Churches but proving yourselves patterns for the flock to imitate. And then, when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the never-withering wreath of glory.
Eph 5:11 (NAS) Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them.
3 Jn 1:9 (NIV) I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.
Related Postings & Links:
For more on Watchman Nee and the "Little Flock" movement, jump into an excellent history of his ministry and legacy at http://www.xenos.org/essays/nee5.htmMain Servant Authority Bible Study
Ray Stedman considers the oft-repeated "not so with you" command of Jesus at https://www.raystedman.org/daily-devotions/mark/not-so-with-you