A TALK TO THOSE
WHO ARE ENGAGED IN BUSINESS
AND WHO HAVE HANDED OVER THEMSELVES
Not Being Unequally Yoked
with the Unbelievers
Tonight, we have something to say to those brothers who are engaged in business and who have handed over themselves. We have gathered together these brothers who have handed over themselves in order to have some fellowship with you. Before you handed over yourselves, there may have been some people whom you had business dealings with. You may at present also have some unbelieving business partners. At a certain time, these relationships will have to be terminated. The reason for this is that your goal and their goals are not the same, and sooner or later there will be conflicts of interests. We hope that you will do your best to separate yourselves from them within a short time.
Learning to Coordinate One with Another
The second thing is that you have to learn to coordinate one with another. The money you earn is for God, and the money I earn is also for God. We have to learn to be delivered from our individual circles. What I have personally is not a concern of my own, but a concern of the Body. These concerns should be considered within the coordination. Formerly, your goal was for yourselves. Now your goal is changed, and this puts all of us together in the same place.
LEARNING FROM THE FAILURE OF THE PAST
Brother Witness Lee: Concerning going into business, we had some experiences in the past. First, in the beginning everyone shared everything in common. After a while, each one began to have some possessions and works of his own, and some degradations set in with respect to money. Still later, the brothers and sisters began to form partnerships in investments and business enterprises, and the situation became even worse. According to my knowledge, not once did we see a good result when brothers went into business together. Cases of arbitrations and settlements were especially frequent among the brothers. This is why at that time I advised everyone not to go into business ventures together. Instead, it is better that they should engage in business alone.
BEING DELIVERED FROM RICHES
Despite what I said, we saw all the time that some have the capital, but are unable to operate a business, whereas others can operate a business, but do not have the capital. In some cases, a person has both, but does not have the strength to do anything. In the past, we did not have enough light. As a result, when the brothers came together, it was difficult for them to be without opinion. Once opinion came in, the testimony was lost, and what was done was not done to the glory of God. The reason we could not handle the matter properly was that we were not delivered from riches themselves yet. Because of this, there was no coordination among us, and we became poor. As far as the work is concerned, we are the poorest among all Christian groups. Today I sent out fifteen to sixteen hundred letters to the brothers and sisters to fellowship with them about the purchase of the meeting hall. I was not happy in my heart about this matter. Our present meeting hall is already packed to the brim. Our present meeting hall will not meet even a fraction of the present need. All the while, we are telling the saints to bring others to our gospel meetings. Where are they going to sit if they all come?
Today we are poor. But what is the reason that we are so poor? The reason is that money has been kept back in our own hands. Today, we have become so fallen that all our hands have become empty again. The work has no money, and you have no money. The reason for our poverty is that we have not been delivered from riches yet. When the money goes into your pocket, your heart falls in love with money. The minute we start arguing, all blessings are gone. You said that you have handed over yourselves, and you have listed all your possessions. But when I read the lists over and over again, I find nothing that can be taken up by us.
Today the amount of spiritual needs should be matched by the amount of material supply. At present, it is still right for us to go into business. But in order to do that, we must first hand over our individualism. Perhaps some brothers disagree with going into business together. But how much can one person’s capital do? The move of the gospel must catch up with the need of the age. In order to catch up with the age, there is the need for coordination. In the world, men conduct business by taking an airplane and by doing it on a large scale. But we have not given our time to anything. When we preach the gospel, we do not have any advertisements, and we do not do anything in the newspaper. The reason for this is that we do not have the money. If those brothers who are in business indeed realize the great need in the gospel, they should rise up to do something in an aggressive way. All that the brothers need to do is to keep enough for their own use; the rest they should offer up to the work. If we do not offer up ourselves in this way, there is not much hope that we can go on.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 74, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)