THE VISION AND REVELATION THAT THE LORD SHOWED US THROUGH BROTHER NEE
Thank the Lord that, according to what we know, as far as the history of the church and the existing state of the church are concerned, there has not been one age in which the Lords revelation to His church has been as thorough and as high as what He has revealed to us in the past seventy-four years, beginning with Brother Nee. Through Brother Nee He first showed us the matter of salvation. In those days thousands of Western missionaries went to China. Many of them had quite a measure of spiritual worth and were quite learned. But not one Western missionary taught concerning the matter of salvation in a thorough, well-rounded way. This was the case until Brother Nee was raised up by the Lord. He not only preached the gospel, but he saw the salvation accomplished by the Lord according to His redemption, from the inside to the outside, from the beginning to the end, in a complete, well-rounded way, and he also handed over everything to us. You all know about this. If you want to know the details, you need to read Brother Nees publications. For this reason we have compiled all his publications and printed them in three sets. Although you are all very busy, I still hope that you can read every page of those three sets.
Furthermore, through Brother Nee the Lord showed us the matter of the church. Concerning the church, the Lord showed us, on the negative side, that Christianity and Catholicism are altogether degraded and deformed. Never before had anyone spoken about the degradation of the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches in such a clear and thorough way as Brother Nee did. On the positive side, the Lord also led Brother Nee to see the local church, that is, the practical aspect of the church. He expended much effort in stressing this point. Eventually, the point of his emphasis became very clear. He enabled us to see clearly the ground of the church and the reality of the church.
Third, it was also through Brother Nee that God showed us the matter of Christ as our life. Christ is to be to us not only the Savior, the Redeemer, the Deliverer, the Grace-giver, and much more. These are not the center. The center is that Christ is to be our life. The Lords redeeming, saving, and giving of grace are not the goal but the procedure to reach the goal. Gods goal is Christ as our life. I say again, not only did the Western missionaries who went to China not stress this point; even in the entire history of Christianity only a handful paid attention to this point. This handful of people began mainly with Madame Guyon. Later, there were the mystics, and after them there were the inner-life people. Of course, Brother Nee stood on their shoulders, but Brother Nee saw something in a more thorough way and something higher, deeper, and richer than what they had seen.
After this God showed us the Body of Christ through Brother Nee. The Lord showed us that the local church is the procedure and not the goal. The goal of the local church is the building up of the Body of Christ. Here, regretfully, among us there were quite a number of brothers who were weighty, yet they saw only the importance of the local church and did not see the Body of Christ. Hence, they rose up to argue, saying that Brother Nee said very clearly that all local churches are autonomous, each having nothing to do with the others. Not one local church, whatever it may be, should interfere with another local church. This is their total disregard for the Body of Christ. Therefore, through Brother Nee the Lord showed us further that what God wants in the end is not the local church. Although at the end of the Bible there are seven lampstands, they all become one city, the New Jerusalem. However, those brothers who stressed the local aspect of the church insisted very much that what Revelation shows us in the beginning is individual churches. Moreover, they were influenced by the Brethren and considered that all the seven churches were different. However, their view is off the mark because they do not see that the seven golden lampstands are indistinguishable in nature, shape, and function. If we put the seven lampstands in front of us, unless we give each a number, it is impossible to tell which is which. Although Revelation 2 and 3 show us seven different churches, the biased brothers do not see that the differences among the churches are not on the positive side but on the negative side. The seven churches have their distinctive characteristics only in their negative conditions, such as their failures, degradation, mistakes, and shortages.
Not only so, Revelation does not have only three chapters. If we read on, first we see the overcomers. Although they are the overcomers in the local churches, in chapter twelve we see that they are one man-child, not seven man-children. In chapter fourteen we see that they are one group of 144,000 overcomers, not two groups, and much less seven groups. These 144,000 overcomers cannot possibly be out of one church. In the entire book of Revelation we see only one man-child, one group of overcomers. Furthermore, Peter was the apostle who set up the Jewish churches, and Paul was the apostle who set up the Gentile churches (Gal. 2:8). But at the end of Revelation the churches set up by the twelve apostles are one building, the holy city New Jerusalem, the Body of Christ.
The matter of salvation released by Brother Nee was received by everyone. People also received what he taught concerning the local church. As to the matter of Christ as our life, apparently people received what Brother Nee spoke, but in reality not many entered in. We must live with Christ day by day, receive Him as our life, take Him as our person in our daily life, and have a co-living with Him. But those who truly practice this, not to mention the outside Christians, even among the saints in the Lords recovery, are as few as the morning stars. All of you are very sincere, and you have paid not a small price to travel from the other end of the world to be here. Since you have come with a sincere heart, I will speak to you a sincere word. May I ask you, among the approximately twenty of you, how many can say from your spirit, from your conscience, with full confidence, I am a person who lives by Christ? How many of you can say, Regardless of whom I am dealing with, regardless of what I am doing, even in my clothing myself and my eating, even in speaking to my wife, in big things or small things, I always live with Christ, I do everything in the spirit and according to the spirit, and in my living I daily experience the Christ whom I have received and allow Him to be magnified in me? In these three months while I was sick and was recuperating, I do not know how much I repented to the Lord regarding this matter. I cannot deny that I have seen this light most thoroughly. Since 1950 I have released numerous messages on this matter and have taught people about this. But when the Lord put me in quietness, I examined myself according to this light and found out that I have not really entered into it that much. What I have seen is very thorough, and what I have preached may also be considered quite complete, but it is really questionable how much of the reality of Christ as life I have in me. In this matter we all must enter in practically.
High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ,