Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we need to consider how we can be perfected as pillars for the Lord's move. The kind of pillar I am talking about, of course, is the pillar in Solomon's temple (1 Kings 7:13-22), the pillar in Bethel (Gen. 28:18, 22; 35:14).
If we mean business with the Lord to become pillars, then we must discover where Bethel is today. Otherwise, we shall be seeking the right thing in the wrong place. If we remain in the Catholic Church, the denominations, the charismatic movement, or the free groups, it will be impossible for us to be perfected as pillars. Do not think that such a statement indicates we are being narrow-minded or shortsighted. We must be in today's Bethel, the church. There is no other place for us to be made pillars in God's building. The pillars perfected in other places are not pillars for Bethel, God's building, but for other things. Through the past centuries, some spiritual giants have been perfected to be pillars for the denominations, for the mission fields, or for certain movements. However, through my years of observation, I have not seen any pillars perfected for the Lord's building outside the local churches. We must be clear that the pillars about which we are speaking are the genuine pillars for God's building. If we want to be such a pillar, then we must ask where God's building, today's Bethel, is. We should not take this matter lightly.
In 1933 I was burdened by the Lord, even forced by Him, to give up my job and to serve Him full-time. I had not studied in a Bible school or seminary. At the time I was working in a corporation. When the Lord was dealing with me about giving up my job, I could not eat or sleep well for three weeks. To serve the Lord full-time required an extreme exercise of my faith, and nothing in my environment favored this decision. I simply did not know how I would care for my living. Eventually, however, I had no choice except to quit my job. After I made this decision, I received a brief note from Brother Nee. In this note Brother Nee said, "Brother Witness, as to your future, I feel that you have to serve the Lord with your full time. How do you feel about it? May the Lord lead you." This note, dated August 17, 1933, the middle of my three-week struggle with the Lord, was a strong confirmation. I had resigned from the corporation, but I had little faith; I was still doubting that I had made the right decision. At that very juncture, that note arrived from Brother Nee. After I read it, I said, "The Lord willing, I will visit this brother and find out why he wrote that note to me at that time."
With this purpose in mind, I went to Shanghai to visit Brother Nee, and he received me as his guest. I stayed with him for several months and I received great help from him. Of course, my first question was why he had written that note on August 17. He told me that as his boat was sailing back to China on the Mediterranean Sea and he was sitting silently in his cabin alone, he was burdened to pray for the Lord's move in China. While he was praying, the Lord pointed out to him that he had to write me that note. Then I told him that the date on which he wrote this note was in the middle of my three-week struggle with the Lord. This report confirmed for Brother Nee that what he had written was absolutely right. Through this note he and I were builded together even more than before. We were deeply assured that the Lord had put us together. From this time, he treated me as a new learner, and I honored and respected him, my senior co-worker, as one who could perfect me.
Because there was not that much work for Brother Nee and me to do in the early days, I often went to him in his home for long periods of time. At these times he perfected me in many different ways. Before the Lord I can testify that we never spent any time in gossip. Brother Nee, an outstanding gift given by the Lord to perfect others, always used the time to perfect me. He certainly knew what I needed. He gave me the proper understanding of church history from the first century until the present; he shared with me the biographies of nearly all the founders of the different denominations; and he perfected me with respect to the inner life, the church life, and the Lord's move.
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