From chapter ten of The Ministers in the Lord’s Recovery – Genuine Ministers of the New Covenant
After comparing the ministry of the apostle Paul as presented in 2 Corinthians with the ministry of Brothers Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, we must conclude that the ministry in the Lord’s recovery is the genuine New Testament ministry. Although the aspects and qualifications of proper ministers covered in these few pages are not exhaustive, they certainly form the core of what constitutes a genuine new covenant minister. If anyone regards himself as having a share in this ministry, we must ask whether he matches the above pattern of the apostle Paul. Does he minister the life-giving Spirit into the believers in order to produce them as letters of Christ? Do the believers under his ministry receive Christ so that they may live and magnify Him as their subjective righteousness? Is the result of his ministry that believers are brought into peace and oneness with God, even to the extent that they continually live in their regenerated spirit as the practical Holy of Holies? Does the minister betroth the believers as a pure virgin to Christ as their unique Husband rather than draw them to himself?
With regard to our brothers Nee and Lee, after careful study and with a pure conscience before God and men, I must give a resounding yes to all these questions. Furthermore, Brother Nee and Brother Lee not only received transcendent revelations in the Bible but were also willing to pass through the intense suffering required for these revelations to be made a rich supply for the saints. As a result, their ministry bore the mark of death and resurrection. As persons who repeatedly and continually experienced the termination of the cross and the God of resurrection, they ministered life to others by dying to themselves. And in resurrection, the ministry of these brothers manifestly abounds with glory. Though they were but earthen vessels, their writings continue to shine forth the divine treasure into thousands of seeking believers to transform them into the New Jerusalem, the city of glory. And until today, their ministry is being spread by the faithful co-workers throughout the earth, diffusing the sweet fragrance of Christ, which year after year compels yet more to join Christ’s triumphant procession.
These unmistakable consistencies between the apostle Paul’s ministry and that of Brother Nee and Brother Lee indicate that Paul’s life and ministry were organically reproduced in our brothers; to a great extent, the intrinsic contents of Paul’s autobiography recorded in 2 Corinthians were duplicated in our brothers’ history. Indeed, we must ask: since the time of the apostles in the first century, where else have we witnessed a life and ministry that so closely matches the pattern of the apostle Paul? Like Paul, Brother Nee and Brother Lee bore the brands of Jesus, their beloved Master, continually living a crucified life in resurrection for the ministering of life to others and remaining obedient to God for the accomplishment of His will at any cost (Gal. 6:17). They were imitators of the apostle Paul, even as he was an imitator of Christ (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1), and their ministry is a faithful reproduction of that of the Lord Jesus, the prototype of a New Testament minister, and of Paul, the foremost pattern given by the Lord (1 Cor. 15:10; 1 Tim. 1:16).
Dear saints, who are we to have been given such a weighty and valuable treasure? Should we not be grateful to the Lord for crowning us with His lovingkindness? It is truly His sovereign mercy that brought us into contact with this precious ministry (Rom. 9:15-23). May the Lord open our eyes to see its true value, and may His mercy continue to keep us in this ministry for the carrying out of God’s New Testament economy so that He might gain the bride of Christ, the New Jerusalem—the fulfillment of His heart’s desire for His eternal corporate expression and counterpart (Rev. 21:2, 9-10).
© 2023, David Yoon. All rights reserved.