From chapter nine of The Ministers in the Lord’s Recovery – Genuine Ministers of the New Covenant
One such believer was Brother Lee. Prior to his regeneration Witness Lee was full of ambition regarding his education and future, possessing lofty intentions not only for himself but also for the advancement of his country. At the age of nineteen he experienced a dynamic salvation and was captured by a gospel message that revealed man’s need to be saved from the usurping and enslaving hand of Satan (1 John 5:19; Acts 26:18; Matt. 12:26; cf. Exo. 1:8-14; 3:7-11). The same day on which Witness Lee believed in the Lord to be delivered from Satan’s tyranny (Col. 1:13), he also gave his whole life to serve Him (2 Cor. 8:5), vowing:
O Lord, even if You were to give me the whole world and make me the king, I would not want it. I want to take my Bible and go to the countryside to preach the gospel from village to village; I want to do this my whole life. If there is no water to drink, I will drink from mountain brooks. If there is no food to eat, I will eat tree roots.77
Seven years later the Lord used Brother Lee to raise up a church in his hometown of Chefoo. The following year Brother Lee again experienced the Lord conquering him; after three weeks of struggling to answer the Lord’s calling to set aside his job and serve the Lord by faith with his full time, he was at last subdued and gave up his lucrative position. About a year later Brother Nee and his co-workers asked Brother Lee to move to Shanghai to labor with them in the Lord’s work there, recommending him to seek the Lord’s leading concerning this move. When Brother Lee realized that this was the Lord’s leading, he migrated to Shanghai, willingly laying aside his work in the church in Chefoo as well as his personal intention to carry out a prevailing work in northern China (cf. Acts 16:6-10). It was because of such willingness to be conquered by the Lord and obediently enter into another’s ministry that Brother Lee could triumphantly manifest the savor of the knowledge of Him in his own ministry.
In particular, from the early 1930s to 1988 the Lord granted Brother Lee what he called “four major successes,” referring to his work in Chefoo, Shanghai, Taiwan with the Southeast Asian countries, and the United States.78 By shepherding the believers personally and ministering according to Brother Nee’s blueprint for the building of the church, Brother Lee ushered in a great revival in the church in Chefoo at the end of 1942. Beginning on January 1, 1943, the church met continuously for one hundred days. Over eight hundred saints offered themselves, their families, and all their possessions to the Lord for the church (cf. Acts 2:44-47; 4:32-37). The whole church preached the gospel actively, leading to hundreds of baptisms in the first five months of 1943 (cf. 5:42; 8:4). In the same year many of the saints migrated throughout northern China, including Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, for the spread of the gospel and the Lord’s testimony (cf. 8:1, 4; 11:19).
In 1947 the Lord’s triumphal procession moved to Shanghai, where Brother Lee continued to implement the blueprint of God’s building and presented the vision of the tree of life. Under Brother Lee’s ministry, the entire church in Shanghai participated in preaching the gospel. Through this revival many saints who had been affected by the turmoil in 1942, which had caused the church in Shanghai to stop meeting, were recovered and healed. Consequently, from the summer of 1946 to the summer of 1947, the number of saints attending the Lord’s table meeting in Shanghai increased from about three hundred to more than one thousand.79 In a few years more than one thousand saints in Shanghai consecrated themselves and their possessions to the Lord for the church. In those days the meeting hall of the church in Shanghai was often so crowded with people that some of the saints had to stand on the street outside during the meetings.
This triumphant ministry continued on to the island of Taiwan beginning from 1949, after Brother Lee obeyed the Lord to migrate there from Shanghai for the preservation and continuation of the ministry. Even though Brother Lee dearly wished to remain with Brother Nee and the co-workers in mainland China for the Lord’s testimony, they sent him out in order to ensure that the precious things entrusted to them by the Lord would not be lost. Realizing that this was the Lord’s perfect will for him (Matt. 26:39, 42), Brother Lee obeyed as a slave of the Lord and moved to the then-backward island of Taiwan (Phil. 2:8). Although the work began with a small number of saints and very few churches, through the Lord’s blessing on Brother Lee’s tireless labor and faithful ministry of the word, the number of saints in Taiwan increased more than thirtyfold within the first year. In less than six years, from 1949 to 1954, the number of saints increased from fewer than five hundred to about fifty thousand.80 The churches in Taiwan were so prevailing that when Brother T. Austin-Sparks visited Taiwan in 1955, he testified that in his entire life he had never spoken before such a marvelous congregation.81 The 1950s saw not only a revival and rapid increase in the churches in Taiwan but also the spread of the Lord’s recovery to countries in the Far East and Southeast Asia, including Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. Through his labor hundreds of churches were raised up. Such a prevailing move was truly a splendid march of the victorious Lord “in every place” (2 Cor. 2:14).
77 CWWL, 1994-1997, vol. 4, p. 513
78 The Scriptural Way to Meet and to Serve for the Building up of the Body of Christ, p. 283
79 CWWL, 1981, vol. 2, p. 132
80 The Intrinsic Problem in the Lord’s Recovery Today and Its Scriptural Remedy, p. 42; The Crystallization of the Epistle to the Romans, p. 96; Life-Study of Romans, p. 72
81 Further Consideration of the Eldership, the Region of Work, and the Care for the Body of Christ, p. 25
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