This site contains short articles that present principles that should govern our attitudes in and practice of the church life and that give factual accounts that address various rumors that have arisen over the years regarding the local churches and the ministry of God’s word through Brothers Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.
In order to live properly in the practical church life and conduct ourselves among all the children of God in this age (1 Tim. 3:15; Phil. 1:27; Eph. 4:1) we must realize how to face the difficulties that present themselves to the saints and to the churches in troubling times. We must also see how the churches are administered and how they relate to one another, to the work, and to the elders and co-workers as well as what genuine authority is and how it should be exercised. Seeing these matters will help to preserve us in the oneness that is vital for the building up of the Body of Christ to arrive at the goal of God’s economy (Eph. 4:2, 16).
The historical accounts on this site are meant to help the saints who have encountered rumors that some lawless ones circulate without regard to facts and to equip those who desire to respond to these inquiries or accusations. Some of these rumors were long ago disproven but still circulate today. Others are new inventions. It is our hope that the material presented here may rescue some from stumbling (2 Cor. 6:3; Rom. 16:17; Luke 17:1-2) and restore their hearts to the Lord, His life, His light, and the joy of their salvation.
The Lord’s recovery is the recovery of the central vision of the Bible, that is, the New Testament economy of God. The focus of the divine economy is that the Triune God embodied in Christ and realized as the Spirit is—based on the redemption accomplished by Christ and our believing into Him—dispensing Himself into His believers to regenerate, transform, and glorify them and to build them up corporately in oneness as the Body of Christ and the dwelling place of God. Shortcomings of individual saints or churches nullify neither the vision of the Lord’s recovery nor the standing of the local churches on the unique ground of oneness. We should all be those who seek to carry out this vision for the accomplishment of God’s eternal economy and to uphold the testimony of the Lord in all the local churches.
Nevertheless, we must realize that, consistent with the testimony of the New Testament, not every believer who meets in the local churches is walking in life and light. Sinful things, even evil things, can and do happen, but that does not prove that the ministry we receive or the churches it produces are not of God. Despite all the problems in Corinth—including factions, immorality, contentions, and disorderliness—Paul still addressed the believers there as “the church of God which is in Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2). The record concerning the churches in the New Testament, from Acts 5 to Revelation 2 and 3, is replete with examples of problems in the churches. The apostles wrote most of the Epistles to rescue churches from deviation. Similarly, the local churches in the Lord’s recovery experience problems, but many of the accusations that some have made or recklessly repeated lack factual basis, and others grossly misrepresent events. As time permits and need demands, this website will correct these errors and distortions by presenting documentable facts.
To those who know the Bible and church history, it should come as no surprise that the Lord’s servants are slandered. The Jewish religionists called the Lord Himself “Beelzebul,” and He warned His disciples that they too would be vilified (Matt. 10:25). Paul was reviled and defamed, considered “as the offscouring of the world, the scum of all things” (1 Cor. 4:12-13). Evil reports were spread about him, and he was called a deceiver, even though he was true (2 Cor. 6:8). Paul told his co-worker Timothy that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). The pages of history are stained with the blood of countless Christian martyrs. Those raised up by the Lord to advance the recovery of the truth and practice of the Christian life and the church life—such as Hus, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Zwingli, Whitefield, the Wesleys, and so many more—have been opposed by religious zealots and smeared by malicious falsehoods.
Because the Lord’s move to recover the proper Christian life and the building up of the Body of Christ in the local churches is a direct threat to God’s enemy, Satan, he opposes it. In Matthew 16:18 the Lord prophesied to His disciples, “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” The focus of the battle between God and Satan is the building up of the church, which is the Body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23). To oppose God’s work, Satan spreads lies in the form of accusations. In John 8:44 the Lord called Satan the father of lies, and in Revelation 12:10 he is referred to as “the accuser of our brothers.” Satan’s deception of Eve was based on a false accusation against God that sowed suspicion and questionings in her mind (Gen. 3:4-5; cf., 1 Tim. 6:4). May the truth presented here overthrow strongholds in the form of false concepts and opinions and release the saints from the evil suspicions Satan seeks to sow in their thoughts (2 Cor. 10:4-5). Our hope is that those who have been affected by these falsehoods might return to soberness (2 Tim. 2:26).
If we see that the source of lies is God’s enemy, Satan, we will realize that “our wrestling is not against blood and flesh,” that is, against those who have taken in and who spread these rumors, “but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies” (Eph. 6:12). In such a wrestling it is vital that we “take up the whole armor of God” so that we “may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (v. 13). This armor is not for individuals but for the Body of Christ, and this wrestling is first and foremost a matter of our joining Christ in ascension in His prayer to carry out the divine administration.
May the Lord have mercy on and give grace to all the saints to turn away from vain talking, contentions of words, and questionings (1 Tim. 1:6; 2 Tim. 2:14, 23) and instead to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58) for the building up of the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:12).
The co-workers in the Lord’s recovery in North America
Note: The verses quoted from The Holy Bible Recovery Version and all the excerpts quoting Watchman Nee and Witness Lee are from publications copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry and are used by permission.