BEING AN ABSOLUTE PERSON
We have to see that the whole problem rests with us today. We have to realize how great our responsibility is. Because of our unfaithfulness, we dare not preach the complete gospel to the sinners. You must be a transformed person before you can preach a transforming gospel. You must be a different person before you can preach a different gospel. There must be a recovered person before there can be a recovered gospel. There must be men who are coordinated before there can be the gospel that brings in coordination. If we are not a certain type of person, we can never preach that certain type of gospel. We must be men of Acts 2 before we can preach the gospel of Acts 2. Only then will we produce more men of Acts 2. If your family, career, money, or position is your center, I have nothing to say. But I can tell you that you cannot be a co-worker. Unless we ourselves are the right kind of person, we can never expect others to be the right kind of persons. If we are not absolute, in twenty or thirty years God will raise up men who will be absolute. Whether or not God will find a way in this generation depends on whether or not there are absolute people in this generation.
THE IMPACT OF THE GOSPEL
In the early churches, although the number of saved ones was not too great, they were all men who were on fire. Although many of them did not preach much, what they did say at the time of their martyrdom spoke louder than what we preach for a whole lifetime. What is needed today is nothing less than absolute obedience and absolute consecration. These are the things that will bring in the power. In his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbons described the sufferings of the martyrs. They were persecuted, exiled, and many times abused by the Roman soldiers. Yet the more the persecution came, the more people were saved. The question today is how much has the gospel laid hold of us. The more the gospel lays hold of us, the greater the impact of the gospel will be.
Whether or not we can cause the next generation to be a people of Acts 2 depends on how well we perform today. The question is whether or not we are willing to be torn down. The recovery may come to a halt when it comes to us, or it may have a new breakthrough from us. If God gains His way through us, those who are saved after us will not be like the saved ones we see today; a better breed will emerge. What others say and criticize is not important to us. The important thing is the kind of persons we are before God.
Our God is a God who is always going on. The Father works until now, and the Son also works (John 5:17). If we offer up all our time, money, and everything, power will come. At the beginning, the Lord demanded that the believers sacrifice their lives for following Him. The calling today is more serious than it was then. Formerly, we may have exhorted others to believe in the Lord by giving them a pat on the back and saying nice words to them. But today, to ask others to believe in the Lord is to ask of them their lives. Formerly, we were begging others to believe; it was as if they were granting us a favor to believe in the Lord. Today, the situation is turned; a man has to realize that to believe in the Lord will cost his very life. I am afraid that there are not many places on earth where the kind of message we have today would be preached.
THE WAY TO GO ON
In order to match God’s work, the way before us needs some adjustments. I can mention a few of these. First, there is the need to train people. In training people, we need to pay attention to the vessels themselves. The vessels must be right before the work can be right. Second, we have to strengthen our existing works. Third, we have to learn to judge others and to deal with others. We have to stop those who are too much and strengthen those who are not enough. In the future, we will judge the world and the angels (1 Cor. 6:2-3). For this reason, we have to learn to judge today. The first one we have to learn to judge is ourselves. If we do not judge ourselves, our judgment will not be clear. If we ourselves have been dealt with, our judgments will be accurate. Those who are the ministers of the word should especially learn the proper lessons. At the same time, all the brothers and sisters should learn to receive the portion of the ministers of the word.
Fourth, money must have no place in the heart of the co-workers. The co-workers must be delivered from the bondage of money. Any feeling for money in the co-workers must be completely taken away. We hope that the Lord will work to such an extent that we can have all things in common in the church.
Fifth, the local churches should pay much attention to the newly saved ones, to properly equip them and to render them the clear teachings. Two kinds of perfectings are necessary. One is the preaching of the gospel. This must be done year round in all the places. The other is the edification of the new believers. This needs a few dozen topics with which we educate the new believers week after week. These topics are fixed topics; there is no need to devise more advanced topics. The same topics can be used year round. Those who will serve as the speaking vessels need to learn the topics first. They should also know how to use the adequate materials.
Some brothers should remain in a place to wait on the Lord. Some should spend more time traveling to other places, while the rest stay in one place. Everyone should learn to work together as a Body. There should not be a church that is only tied to its own "turf," one that is closed to outsiders.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 43, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)