25 Scriptural issues

This was a letter addressed to members of The Way International but everyone can learn from it. 
From John A Lynn

Scriptural Issues
About Which The Living Truth Fellowship Differs With The Way International (and other groups who hold to the same doctrine) Revised 07/15/10

I, the founder of The Living Truth Fellowship (John Lynn) was involved in The Way International for nearly 20 years, until 1987. I am extremely thankful for their pointing me to the Word of God (“It is written”) as the only standard for faith and practice, and for the inherent keys to the Word’s interpretation, which in large part came from E.W. Bullinger in his classic work, How To Enjoy The Bible.

Upon leaving The Way International, I simply applied those keys to all that I had been taught. Though I found that much of it was biblically sound, there were some significant errors that had a very toxic effect on believers’ lives. Because we have an affinity for those from our own background, and a desire to minister to them, I have compiled the following list of 26 of the subjects about which I believe The Way (and a number of its off-shoot groups) are teaching things that do not hold up to objective and diligent scriptural scrutiny, and may in fact be toxic.

If you look at our websites, you can find where we teach more on many of these subjects (www.tltf.org, YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/justtruthit ).

(1) The Lordship of Jesus Christ
He is not “the absent Christ.” He is the “Lord” referred to in nearly all the uses of kurios (lord) from Acts through Philemon. He is our Savior, Friend, Hero, and Mentor in the art of faith, which he perfected. People talked to Jesus after his Ascension (Acts 7:59 and 60, 9:10ff; 2 Cor. 12:8, etc.), and we are to have “fellowship with him” (1 John 1:3). God has given Jesus all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18), and made him functionally equal with Him until the Final Paradise is reestablished and Jesus subordinates himself to God (1 Cor. 15:24-28). As the “Last Adam,” he is “creating” (Eph. 2:15) a new race of men to replace the First Adam’s dead offspring This critical subject is covered in great detail in our book: One God & One Lord: Reconsidering the Cornerstone of the Christian Faith, and on the following audio teachings: A New Race For A New Age; Jesus Christ, and The Diameter Of The Ages.

(2) “In Christ” Refers to Our Standing
The phrase “in Christ” does not refer to our state, but our standing as members of the Body of Christ, and our identification with the Lord Jesus. As our foot is always “in” our body, so each Christian is forever “in Christ.” It is a key phrase in understanding administrational truth and the permanence of our salvation. Listen to the following audio teachings: A New Race For a New Age, and Jesus Christ, The Diameter of the Ages.

(3) The “Law of Believing”
Pistis is a noun that means “faith.” Faith equals “trust,” and requires something to trust in, i.e., God’s Word. Faith grows (auxano - 2 Cor. 10:15, etc.). When one believes the promises of God, then God uses His power to bring to pass those promises. Faith is the simplest thing that God could require of people, and so the credit goes to Him when He keeps His Word in response to our faith, which is in response to His promise. One’s “positive mind pictures” cannot be used to control other people or the physical universe. The Bible never says to “believe for” something. We believe the promises of God, whether written, spoken or given by revelation, and trust God to bring it to pass “in due time.” Listen to the following audio teachings: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Fear But Were Afraid to Ask, and Take My Word For It. Also check out the book: The Seduction of Christianity by Dave Hunt).

(4) The “Faith of Jesus Christ”

There are only about seven places in the KJV where this phrase occurs, and modern translators recognize it as an occurrence of “the objective genitive” and properly translate it “faith in Jesus Christ.” Romans 3:22 (NIV) says that our righteousness comes through our faith (trust) in Jesus Christ. That agrees with the rest of the Bible, which says that we are saved by having faith in Jesus Christ, believing what God says in His Word about him. Mark 11:22 is a good example of the objective genitive. The Greek text reads, “Have the faith of God,” but almost every version translates it, “Have faith in God.” Listen to the following audio teachings: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Fear, But Were Afraid to Ask, Take My Word For It, and The Book of Romans.

(5) Fear & the Book of Job
Fear is not a “mental force” that controls anything beyond one’s self, nor does it somehow dictate that bad things will happen to us. To say that it does creates a double mental bind in which one not only fears something but fears that what he fears will then come upon him. In fact, the emotion of fear is sometimes very beneficial to keep us from doing foolish things, and more than 250 times we are told to “fear” God for our own good. Fear must be defined biblically, because some fear is good and some is not.

Job was attacked by Satan because he was a righteous man, not because of his fears (how could he be “righteous” if he was full of fear, when “The righteous are bold as a lion”- Prov. 28:1). Furthermore, human suffering is not the main subject of the book of Job. The Way International’s “Studies In Human Suffering” misses the whole point of the book of Job, which is to show that no matter what happens to us in life, we are to love God, not only for what He does for us, but because He is God. See our book: Don’t Blame God!; and our audio teachings: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Fear, But Were Afraid to Ask, and Take My Word For It. Also see the book: The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker.

(6) Righteousness and “Sin-consciousness”

Righteousness is not “our ability to stand before God without any sense of [or consciousness] sin, guilt, or condemnation.” If we sin as Christians, though we are still righteous, we should be conscious of sinning and feel badly about it, and such godly sorrow should motivate us to repentance. If one is not conscious of sin, how can he know that he needs to change his behavior? Righteousness is a legal state of acceptability before God that is the result of “justification.” It means that we have access to God in spite of our sin. This state frees us from the judicial penalty incurred as a result of breaking God’s laws, but not from the practical consequences of sin. We have been delivered from the penalty of sin, but not from its presence (it “dwells in us”) or its power to tyrannize us. Truly understanding that our righteousness is purely a function of God’s grace inspires us to confront our sin and repent of all unrighteous behavior so that we can walk in the light, as He is light. Listen to the following audio teaching: The Book of Romans.

(7) The Fruit of the Spirit
These qualities do not come about in one’s life as a result of operating the manifestations of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control are attributes of the character of both God and Christ, and are made possible by the “divine nature,” the gift of holy spirit. These godly ways of being will produce “good works” as the believer puts on the mind of Christ and obeys the Word of God. Developing the character of Christ should be the major goal of each Christian. Evangelism and miracles are wonderful, but without the character of Christ, how do they profit the individual? 1 Corinthians 13 makes it clear that without love our acts are worthless.
Matthew 7:22 [which is not written to us] shows that doing signs and miracles is not the goal, but our aim should be to develop the character of Christ and get to “know” him.

(8) Speaking in Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues
The primary way that speaking in tongues edifies us is by reminding us of all that we have in Christ, and all we can do because of him, including operating the manifestations of the spirit. 1 Corinthians 14:2 says that when a Christian speaks in tongues, he speaks NOT to men, but TO God. Therefore, the interpretation of that tongue is not a message from God to men, but rather praise, worship, and thanksgiving to God. Tongues do not change into a message from God for interpretation, just as “Gracias a Dios” in Spanish means “Thank God,” whether we are alone or in a group.
No verse says that there must be at least three believers together in order to have the manifestations of speaking in tongues with interpretation, and/or prophecy. The word “men” in 1 Corinthians 14:3 is generic, not numeric, and refers to the genus of mankind, in contrast to “God,” in verse 2. It does not mean that honeymooning Christians at Acapulco must temporarily adopt a Mexican child in order to have manifestations. See our book: The Gift of Holy Spirit: The Power To Be Like Christ.

(9) Prophecy

Prophecy is not only for a body of believers, but also for individuals, and can be spoken by a prophet or by any believer via the manifestation of prophecy. When it is for an individual, also called “personal prophecy,” it often produces the kind of response mentioned in 1 Corinthians 14:24 and 25. In the KJV verse 25 says: “And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” Personal prophecy is all over the Bible, and is the genuine for which the 1-900 Psychic Hotline is a counterfeit. Plus it is free.

(10) The Husband-Wife Relationship
A Christian wife has the same gift of holy spirit as does her husband. Jesus Christ is the only “Lord,” and the leadership that a husband is to exercise in regard to his wife is relative to the overall lordship of Jesus Christ. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, and the wife is to cooperate with her husband’s godly leadership. God gave both Adam and “the woman” dominion, and a husband and wife are to work as a team. The fall of man ruined the husband-wife relationship, and Genesis 3:16 sets forth consequences of sin, not God’s plan for marriage. In Christ, a husband and wife can each function uniquely as God intended and live as “one flesh.”

(11) Sex
The Way’s 15 hour class, “Christian Family and Sex,” never took a stand against pre-marital sex or adultery. From the top down, the majority of The Way’s leadership both taught and practiced pre-marital and extra-marital sex, to the end that many marriages were destroyed and thousands of people’s hearts were badly scarred.

Sexual sin is a very serious thing to God (1 Cor. 6:18; 1 Thess. 4:1-7, et al.). A man and a woman become “one flesh” in the act of sexual intercourse
(1 Cor. 6:16). The Bible is clear that pre-marital sex and adultery are sins. God designed sex as a beautiful and integral part of the marriage relationship, and as wonderfully beneficial as it is within the canopy of a marriage commitment, it is equally devastating outside of it.

It is not true that David, as King of Israel, could have any woman in his kingdom, even another man’s wife. God was angry with David not simply for having Uriah killed by unbelievers but because he stole another man’s wife. This was the point of the parable the prophet Nathan spoke to David about the man who stole another man’s sheep (2 Sam 12:1-4).

(12) Authority
There is authority in the Church, but it is relative to the overall authority and lordship of Jesus Christ. All genuine authority among believers is earned by faithful service. Those utilizing their spiritual giftings to function in leadership roles are to recognize that every Christian has equal access to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Body. When Timothy and Titus list what is required for overseers, the qualifications relate to character traits, not God-given ministries or innate abilities. Christian leaders are supposed to serve their brethren with respect and kindness. Such leadership is indispensable to the Church successfully carrying out its mission of making known the heart of Christ to the world. Listen to the following audio teaching: What is Christian Leadership?

(13) Titles, Nametags, and Robes
Biblically, there is no such title as “Reverend,” a word that appears only once in the KJV (Ps. 111:9) and it refers to God. Giving a man or woman such a title can easily elevate him/her above other believers and lead to a spiritual “caste system” that can cause much division between believers. The same is true for “Bishop,” “Pastor,” “Apostle,” etc. These may be functions in the Church, but the words are never used as titles in the Bible. Title-less nametags are not a sin.

(14) “Father in the Word”
This term is not found in Scripture, and elevated Wierwille to an unbiblical position equivalent to a Pope (which means “Father”). There is no biblical basis to equate any other man with the Apostle Paul and his unique apostolic authority. Even if a minister leads someone into the New Birth and teaches him some of the Bible, that minister deserves no special title or inordinate allegiance at the expense of the lordship of Jesus Christ. “It is written” must be our only standard for truth, and Jesus Christ is the only “Man of God” worth exalting. Listen to the following audio teaching: What Is Christian Leadership?

(15) The “Higher Powers” of Romans 13:1-7
No Christian is inherently “higher” than any other, because there is no hierarchy in the Body of Christ. Some have stronger faith, and are more mature, but they are “before” (“in front of ”), not “above” others who are less mature. An in-depth study of these verses reveals that they do not refer to the Church, but to civil authorities, which were God’s plan (since Gen. 9:6) to keep order so believers can further the Gospel. Listen to the following audio teaching: The Book of Romans.

(16) Financial Giving
The Church Epistles, particularly 2 Corinthians, clearly set forth the joy of giving from the heart according to one’s ability. Even in the Old Testament, “tithing” was not instituted as a requirement until the Levites were set apart and commanded not to own their own land, and even then tithing did not pertain to every Israelite. When the Levites were no longer under the Law and the Temple services were no longer necessary, the command to tithe ceased just as the command to go to the Temple in Jerusalem 3 times a year ceased. Never is “tithing” mentioned in regard to the Church. The biblical pattern of giving we are to practice is that it is done in response to a blessing. We do not give in order to get, but because we have been given something to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:6 (NKJV) says that a Christian is to give “…as he purposes in his heart.…” No amount is specified. The more one sows, the more he reaps. Listen to the following audio teaching: The Joy of Giving.

(17) The Ministry of Angels
Angels are spirit beings that were created prior to the creation of mankind. They are not assigned only to guard unbelievers until these “pagans” get born again. Their main job is to help believers, and biblically they do so in every administration, sometimes by coming into concretion in the form of humans. Listen to the following audio teaching: The Ministry of Angels to Believers.

(18) “Holy Communion”
At “the Lord’s Supper,” Jesus did not initiate a repetitive ritual. In John 6, after he fed the 5000, and the crowd followed him all the way around to the other side of the lake, Jesus first introduced to his disciples the metaphor of “eating his flesh” and “drinking his blood,” meaning to believe his words. At his last meal with the Apostles near the end of his life, he was talking about remembering him every time we eat and drink. This is a most practical key to keeping in mind the things of God. Listen to the following audio teaching: Eat, Drink, And Remember.

(19) “The Hope” Is Life in Paradise, Not Heaven
“Paradise” is Paul’s destiny (2 Cor. 12:4), and that of every other believer from every administration. Nowhere does the Bible say that Christians will live forever in “heaven.” We will be with the Lord Jesus on this earth in the Millennial Kingdom and, after that, on the New Earth, both of which are called “Paradise” in the Bible. “The Kingdom of God” and “the Kingdom of heaven” are among about eight synonymous phrases referring to both the Millennial Kingdom and the everlasting reign of God and Jesus Christ. Listen to the following audio teaching: The Purpose of the Ages.

(20) Freedom of Thought
2 Peter 1:20, as tied to verse 21, is regarding the origin of Scripture, not its meaning. “Private interpretation” should be translated “one’s own determination.” Who says we can’t “think it means” so and so? A Christian is supposed to think about, question, and consider spiritual matters on the path to developing his own convictions.

Along this same line, Eve’s mistake in Genesis 3: 1-5 was not that she “considered” the Serpent’s words, but that she failed to compare what the Serpent said with what God said. To say that she should not have even thought about an alternative viewpoint shuts down healthy inquiry and the freedom to develop personal convictions. It is a subtle but deadly form of “brainwashing” and fosters unhealthy dependence upon teachers and tradition, often at the expense of truth and a “good conscience.”

(21) Sin
Sin is not merely “broken fellowship.” Biblically, it means disobedience to God’s Word, either as a state of being (e.g., “in sin”) or an act (e.g., Adam’s sin). Romans 5:12 does not put the blame on Eve as the original sinner, but rather on Adam, for it was he whom God had instructed, not Eve. The teaching that “sin is sin,” that is, that there are no sins worse than others, is not true. We know that there are “degrees” of sin, because in the Old Testament, for example, there were degrees of punishment. Listen to the following audio teaching: The Book of Romans, and see our book: One God & One Lord.

(22) Genesis 6:1ff and The Flood
The “giants” (Heb. nephilim) are the offspring of fallen angels (now imprisoned) who came into concretion and impregnated human women. This Satanic attack on the Christ line was the main reason for the Flood, which was caused by God (not Satan), and why God later told the Israelites to kill all the “Canaanites.” Everything reproduces “after its kind” only in an undisturbed environment, without genetic tampering.

(23) Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani
These Aramaic words spoken by Jesus on the Cross, left in the biblical text, actually mean, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Not “this was my destiny”). Jesus did not literally believe that God had forsaken him, because he knew that his Father was always with him (John 16:32), including when he was hanging on the tree. Rather, Jesus was witnessing to Israel with his last breath by quoting the beginning phrase of Psalm 22 (and also the closing phrase, “It is finished” - properly translated), which was an incredibly vivid prophecy of what was happening right before their eyes that day. By quoting this passage, Jesus was acknowledging that to all appearances he was “cursed” (Deut 21:23; Gal 3:13), “smitten of God” (Isa 53:4), and “forsaken,” as his torture, crucifixion and death led many to believe. But Psalms 22:22ff also shows that God did not forsake Jesus, by pointing to his post-resurrection glory. Also, Jesus did not literally become sin on the Cross, but he was a “sin offering” in accordance with the types in the Old Testament.

(24) The “More Abundant Life” of John 10:10b
This “more abundant life” does not primarily refer to material things, or even “spiritual abundance” in this life, but rather to everlasting life, which we infer from the scope of Scripture and the frequent use of “eternal (“aeonian,” or “age”) life” in John. The literal meaning of zoen aionion in John 3:16 is “life in the age to come.”

(25) “Study” in 2 Timothy 2:15
The KJV phrase, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God…” has caused some people to put an improper emphasis on the value of book learning. Spoudazo does not refer to reading lexicons, etc. It means “to exert a diligent effort.” The NIV reads “Do your best,” which is a good translation. When a Christian does his best to be approved before God, he obeys the written Word and the voice of the Lord, imitates Christ and walks worthy of his calling. Reading and studying God’s Word is certainly encouraged in Scripture, but one need not be a Greek scholar to be well-pleasing to God. What God wants is for us to obey the Word we do know.

(26) “Need and Want Parallel”
What Wierwille was apparently trying to communicate was that one must want what he truly needs, and need what he wants. The Bible establishes the standard for what is needed, and the believer must bring himself to want what the Bible says he needs. Being clear about what one needs and having an equivalent desire to see those needs met is a profitable way to be, but this teaching in PFAL did not make this point clear.

Many of these topics are covered in our articles, audio teachings, and video teachings available free of charge on our websites: www.tltf.org and YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/justtruthit

We may be contacted at:

The Living Truth Fellowship
7399 N. Shadeland Ave., Suite 252
Indianapolis IN 46250
PHONE # (317) 721-4046

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