The Furtherance of the New Way for the Lord's Recoveryby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Today we must pay attention to the truth when we go out door-knocking. After bringing people to be saved and baptized, we must set up meetings in their homes for the purpose of teaching them the truth and helping them to grow in life. In Matthew 28:19-20a the Lord Jesus charged the disciples, saying, “Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” After telling the disciples to baptize people into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus charged them to teach people not about celebrating Christmas and Easter but about observing the truths that He had commanded them.
In the four Gospels the Lord Jesus spoke three long messages. In the first message, in Matthew 5—7, He spoke about the constitution of the kingdom; in the second message, in Matthew 13, He used seven parables to unveil the mysteries of the kingdom; and in the third message, in John 14—16, He spoke about the mystery of the Triune God. At that time these were the things that the Lord commanded the disciples to teach to the believers. However, up to this day, in which so-called church are these messages preached? The pastors preach mostly things such as God being love and the Lord letting the little children come to Him to be blessed by Him (Matt. 19:13-15). These kinds of messages are entirely outside of the central lane of the Lord’s teachings.
In our change of system today, when we practice the new way of going out door-knocking to bring people to be saved and baptized into the Triune God, we must follow up by teaching them the divine truths. Instead of bringing them to the meeting hall, however, we should go to their homes and teach them. Acts tells us that the disciples practiced according to the Lord’s command. After the three thousand were saved on the day of Pentecost, they broke bread from house to house (2:46). Later, another five thousand were saved, and they did the same thing. Furthermore, Acts tells us that the apostles went from house to house preaching the gospel and teaching people (5:42). They did not teach the shallow doctrines of today’s Christianity. Instead, they taught about God’s New Testament economy concerning Christ and the church as revealed in the entire New Testament. They did not build meeting halls or worship halls for gathering people to be taught. Instead, they went from house to house teaching people. This was the persistent and prevailing practice in the early churches (cf. Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15; Philem. 2). Today we also must return to the original practices of going to the new believers’ homes to establish meetings and teach them the truths, especially those in Matthew 5—7 and 13 and in John 14—16.
Since we have to teach people, we ourselves must first know the truth. The Recovery Version includes a chart of the seventy weeks with the coming of Christ and the rapture of the saints. After reading the chart, many people still find it hard to understand. Actually, if we want to understand the mystery of God’s economy, we must first understand Matthew 5—7, Matthew 13, and John 14—16. In the Recovery Version these chapters have footnotes that are very clear, and we must study them deeply in order to help others understand what God’s economy is. This is the burden in the depths of my inner being. Therefore, when we go to lead the home meetings, we should teach God’s economy.
First Timothy 2:4 says that God desires all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth. Three months have already passed in this term of the training, and the trainees have gone out door-knocking and have already baptized five thousand people. We praise the Lord for this, but we can offer only partial praise because God wants all men not only to be saved but also to come to the full knowledge of the truth. In Greek this phrase is come to the full knowledge, so it is not just a small amount of knowledge. God wants all men to be saved, and He wants them also to come to the full knowledge of the truth. This is not an easy or light matter.
Therefore, as we are changing the system to practice the new way, there are four definite steps in our going out door-knocking from house to house: first, leading people to believe and be baptized; second, feeding and taking care of them by setting up meetings in their homes; third, teaching them the truth in their homes and at the same time ministering life to them; and fourth, bringing them into the full knowledge of the church and into the practical church life.
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