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When the opportunity came I would try to persuade them to believe in the Lord Jesus With the Lord's grace I continued to pray daily, and after several months all but one of the seventy persons were saved. After his conversion, Nee desired to be trained as a Christian worker. However, he was dismissed due to his bad and lazy habits, such as sleeping in late. Eventually, Nee's seeking to improve his character brought him into close contact with a British missionary Margaret E.

Barber who became his teacher and mentor. Barber treated Nee as a young learner and frequently administered strict discipline. When she died in , Barber left all of her belongings to Nee, who wrote:. She was one who was very deep in the Lord, and in my opinion, the kind of fellowship she had with the Lord and the kind of faithfulness she expressed to the Lord are rarely found on this earth.

Through Barber, Watchman Nee was introduced to the writings of D. Panton , Robert Govett , G. Pember , Jessie Penn-Lewis , T. Austin-Sparks , and others. In the early days of his ministry, he is said to have spent one-third of his income on personal needs, one-third to assist others, and the remaining third on spiritual books. He was known for his ability to select, comprehend, discern, and memorize relevant material, and grasp and retain the main points of a book while reading. Nee derived many of his ideas, including plural eldership , disavowal of a clergy-laity distinction, and worship centered around the Lord's Supper , from the Plymouth Brethren.

From to , his movement was associated internationally with the Raven-Taylor group of Exclusive Brethren which in was renamed the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church , which "recognized" the Local Church movement as a parallel work of God, albeit one that had developed independently. Nee refused, however, to follow their practice of isolating themselves from other denominations, and rejected their ban on celebrating The Lord's Supper with other Christians. He also expressed concern about increasing authoritarianism in the Exclusive Brethren, and what he saw as the creeping concentration of power in the hands of James Taylor, Sr.

Matters came to a head when it became known that Nee had worshipped with non-Brethren Christians like T. Austin Sparks during a visit to the United Kingdom , and with non-Brethren missionaries during a United States visit in Nee received a letter dated 31 August , signed by leading Brethren, excommunicating him and his movement. As a teenager, Nee fell in love with Charity Chang.

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Their two families had been friends for three generations. This bothered him. Eventually, after much struggling, Nee felt he needed to give up on their relationship.

Ten years later, after finishing her university education, Charity became a Christian. She began attending church meetings in Shanghai in Charity cared for Nee in his frequent illness and was the only visitor Nee was permitted during his imprisonment. They had no children. From the time I was bedridden by illness until the time I was healed by God, I was being shown more clearly the kind of work God wanted me.

In the future my personal burden and work will generally comprise these four aspects.

The Four Great Pillars in the Lord’s Recovery: Truth, Life, the Church, and the Gospel (ITERO 2011)

May all the glory be to the Lord. Nee began to write and publish at a very early age. In , he began to publish the magazine The Present Testimony , and in , he started another magazine entitled The Christian. At age 21, Nee established the first "local church" in Sitiawan, Malaysia while visiting his mother, who had moved there from China. In , Nee established up another local church in Shanghai, which became the center of his work in China. By , Nee's practice of meeting as local churches spread throughout China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

He maintained this pattern until his imprisonment. In , Nee published a three-volume book entitled The Spiritual Man.

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According to Nee, this was a turning point for him in his ministry. He said, "My Christian life took a big turn from doctrines and knowledge to a living person, Christ, who is God's centrality and universality. In February , Nee gave a series of talks in which he defined and expounded the practice of the local churches, stating that in the Bible, the church is never divided into regions and never denominated based on a teaching or doctrine. These talks were eventually published in the book The Assembly Life. According to Nee, this was the second turn in his ministry.

Nee recounted, "My first turn was to know Christ, and my second turn was to know His Body. To know Christ is only half of what the believers need. The believers also must know the Body of Christ. Christ is the head, and He is also the Body. In , Nee became involved with his second brother's failing pharmaceutical company. Although acquiescing to family pressure, Nee also saw this as an opportunity to support his many co-workers who were suffering great poverty and hardship during the Second World War.

Nee took over full management of the factory, reorganized it, and began to employ many local church members from Shanghai. At this time, some of the elders from the church in Shanghai questioned Nee's involvement in business, causing Nee to suspend his ministry in Shortly afterward, the church in Shanghai stopped meeting altogether. In March 6, , Nee moved to Chongqing to oversee the factory there. There, he delivered a series of messages on Revelation 2 and 3 published as The Orthodoxy of the Church as well as messages on the Song of Songs.

Nee purchased twelve bungalows at Kuliang to hold trainings for his co-workers in the Christian work. We need to be absolute for the truth — not accommodating the truth because of our feelings, preferences, or natural inclinations.

The Reformation and the Men Behind It

The Lord needs a recovery in which the truth is as absolute as it is in God Himself. We all need to be constituted with the truth — we need to have the truth wrought into us and constituted into our very being 1 John ; 2 John ; John We need to see that there is a desperate need for the living truth — not just the truth in the Bible, but God shining in Christ on the truth and making it living to us. The truth is first the objective revelation in the written Word of God, then as the Lord shines on the truth in the Word and in the ministry, and also shines in our being, that will become the truth in us!

The shining of the light on the truth and the shining of the truth into our being brings the truth to be the constituent of our being! Remember: memorization is NOT constitution! The content of the truth is light — when the element of the truth is in our being , the light of the truth is in us, filling us with light, life, and life supply!

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We need to see the desperate need to be constituted with the high truth in the Word of God! God gives us a Person — Christ!

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It all starts with the truth — the experience of the Lord as life is contained in the Lord as the truth. You cannot have life without the truth — when someone speaks the truth to us, when we hear the gospel, life is generated in us! The truth is the container, and life is the content of the truth. When we speak the truth, we minister life into others! People receive the truth and they get life! So many times we were in a meeting under the speaking of the truth and we realized: THIS is what is happening in my life these days!

Now we can also go on to present the truth to others — the living truth, the truth we experienced. The Baptist commentators make the church appear to be a Baptist church, while the Presbyterian commentators make it sound Presbyterian. What he opens, no one can shut; and what he shuts, no one can open. In this letter, however, Jesus makes no reference to that vision.

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He uses other titles to describe himself. He tells them plainly who he is and what he does. Who he is is "the holy one" and "the true one.

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His character is without flaw or blemish. And he is genuine reality. He is the true one, the one behind all that really exists. That is who he is. What he does is: He "holds the key of David. In the days of Hezekiah the king there was a courtier we would call him a chief-of-staff, for he was in charge of the palace whose name was Shebna. He had been caught in a personal scam run for his own benefit, and as a result God says a very unusual, very descriptive thing about him: "I will take him and whirl him around and around like a discus thrower , and hurl him into a far country," Isaiah It was a prediction that he would be sent into Babylon.

He would be replaced by a godly man named Eliakim, of whom God said,. What he opens, no one can shut, and what he shuts, no one can open. Our Lord refers back to that passage in Isaiah and applies it to himself: "I am the one who shuts and no one can open, and opens and no one can shut. He governs the events of history on earth. He will open some doors; he will close other doors. What he opens no one can shut, what he shuts, no one can open. No human power can contravene what he determines. See, I have placed before you an open door that no man can shut.

I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. To a church like the church at Philadelphia the Lord says he will open doors of ministry and service, and no one can shut them. The Apostle Paul uses this analogy about himself. On his second missionary journey he tried to go into the province of Asia to preach the gospel but was forbidden by the Holy Spirit; it was a shut door. Then he tried to go into Bithynia, on the southern shore of the Black Sea, but was not allowed of the Lord -- another shut door.