SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Witness Lee vs Watchman Nee

Print Thread (PDF)


Joined: 2005/12/16
Posts: 122

 Witness Lee vs Watchman Nee

Witness Lee (1905-1997), a bondslave of Christ Jesus, labored selflessly throughout his entire life and poured out his being for his Lord's interest. Born in 1905 in northern China, he was raised in a Christian family. At age 19 he was fully captured for Christ and immediately consecrated himself to preach the gospel for the rest of his life.

Early in his service, Witness Lee met Watchman Nee, a renowned preacher, teacher, and writer. Witness Lee labored together with Watchman Nee under his direction. In 1934 Watchman Nee entrusted Witness Lee with the responsibility for his publication operation, called the Shanghai Gospel Bookroom.

In 1949, Witness Lee was sent by Watchman Nee and his other co-workers to Taiwan to insure that the things delivered to them by the Lord would not be lost. Watchman Nee instructed Witness Lee to continue the former's publishing operation abroad as the Taiwan Gospel Bookroom, which has been publicly recognized as the publisher of Watchman Nee's works outside China. Witness Lee's work in Taiwan manifested the Lord's abundant blessing. From a mere 350 believers, newly fled from the mainland, the churches in Taiwan grew to 20,000 in five years.

In 1962 Witness Lee felt led of the Lord to come to the United States, settling in California. During his 35 years of service in the U.S., he ministered in weekly meetings and weekend conferences, delivering several thousand spoken messages. Much of his speaking has since been published as over 400 titles. Many of these have been translated into over 14 languages. He gave his last public conference in February 1997 at the age of 91.

Witness Lee's ministry emphasizes the experience of Christ as life and the practical oneness of the believers as the Body of Christ. Stressing the importance of attending to both these matters, he led the churches under his care to grow in Christian life and function. He was unbending in his conviction that God's goal is not narrow sectarianism but the Body of Christ. In time, believers began to meet simply as the church in their localities in response to this conviction. These local churches were soon established throughout all the Western hemisphere. In recent years a number of new churches have been raised up in Russia and in many eastern European countries.
This was from
Sounds wonderful right? Well thier critics have some very negative things to say about how they run thier churches, and the teachings themselves.

David Michael Paul

 2005/12/20 8:57Profile

Joined: 2005/12/16
Posts: 122

 Re: Witness Lee vs Watchman Nee

Beware many believers accuse both of these men of starting Cults loosely based on Christian teachings. Search the scriptures and study what they teach before accepting any of it. As we should do in all teachings.

David Michael Paul

 2005/12/20 9:11Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Please Search


Please try the search function on the main page here. We have had quite a bit of discussion on all this of late. You may not have been aware of this, but it gives opportunity to make mention of it once again.


Mike Balog

 2005/12/20 10:10Profile

Joined: 2005/12/16
Posts: 122

 Re: Sorry you are right

I thought that some one had confused the two men, I have encountered it before. I was unaware of the discussions you refer.

David Michael Paul

 2005/12/21 4:02Profile

Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia


I have heard some call Nee "hyper-spiritual," but what I have heard and read of him he is very solid. I am always willing to learn, and often find an error in theology, even from the greats, or at least some area that I disagree with.

So someone please post the errors of Nee if there are some. Moderator: let me know if I need to start a new post (I think I will anyway).

Hal Bachman

 2005/12/22 21:26Profile

Joined: 2005/11/8
Posts: 619

 Re: Witness Lee on Watchman 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 Lord’s 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 Nee’s 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 Lord’s redeeming, saving, and giving of grace are not the goal but the procedure to reach the goal. God’s 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 Lord’s 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,
Witness Lee

Grafted Branch

 2005/12/29 19:39Profile

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy