Elders' Training, Book 09: The Eldership and the God-ordained Way (1)by Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
When I returned to Taipei in 1984, I was burdened by the Lord to find out a new, scriptural way for us to meet and to serve for the building up of the Body of Christ. By October of 1984 I had a deep and clear realization that all of Christianity had come nearly to a standstill. Statistics showed that some of the major denominations were decreasing in number. Whereas the increase in Christianity had been very low, the Muslims and the Buddhists had much increase. We had also come nearly to a standstill in our increase. This fact greatly burdened me for our situation in the Lord’s recovery. I went to Taipei to do some research, some experimental work.
At the very beginning of my study I found out that for the church to grow up with the proper increase, there is the need for the proper preaching of the gospel. To have the increase in life we need to beget many new ones. If we stop begetting, we will be terminated. If the human race did not have the element of begetting, it would be terminated within a short amount of time. The factor of begetting has kept the human race going on from one man whose name was Adam to billions of people. Begetting is the base of the Lord’s move. Without begetting for the increase and spread of the church, we cannot build up anything. Beginning in 1974, I observed that within ten years the churches in Orange County, California, had very little increase. Moreover, by 1984 the church in Taipei had decreased in number over the previous twenty years. How can we talk about the building up of the church when we are not begetting or multiplying? I realized that we had to sacrifice something and suffer some loss initially in order to take the new way, but what was the use of remaining in the old way in the same unfruitful state? We needed to sacrifice something to find out a new way. For the Lord to have a proper way out of the denominational traditions, we must take care of four crucial steps: gospel preaching, home meetings, group meetings, and church meetings.
The proper preaching of the gospel is not at all according to the traditional way. I hate tradition to the uttermost because I fully realize that it has greatly damaged and killed many of us without our awareness. Day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, the evil one, Satan, has been using tradition to slaughter and annul us. Tradition is oldness, and oldness is staleness. Oldness, staleness, and tradition are synonymous. The practice of degraded Christianity, which we to some extent still retain, has become stale. This was the reason that I paid a great price to return to Taiwan in 1984 and stay there for a period of time.
While I was there, I was before the Lord day and night concerning what He wanted to do. I was considering the way to carry out the proper preaching of the gospel that was outside of tradition and according to God’s ordained way revealed in the Bible. I believe that the Lord showed us this way. Concerning the preaching of the gospel, we are fully clear that we need to go to visit people by knocking on their doors. There are many ways to preach the gospel, but visiting people by knocking on their doors is the top way for preaching the gospel.
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