The Visions of Ezekiel, by Witness Lee


We must also practice this kind of coordination in the meetings. Some brothers and sisters love to shout in the meetings. When they come in, they are shouting; during the meeting, they are shouting; they love to shout. Sometimes the shouting ones need to return. They need to walk backward. But sometimes those who are so quiet also need to return. They need to walk backward and to shout. The problem is this: neither the shouting ones nor the quiet ones are willing to walk backward. The shouters always shout. The quiet ones are always quiet. Each must learn to walk backward. The shouters need to learn to be quiet, and the quiet ones need to learn to shout. All the others must learn to walk sideways. By this practice, we will never have any kind of division in our meetings.


We need not only to walk straightforward, but also to walk backward. We also must learn to walk sideways to the right and sideways to the left. This will cause us to be really coordinated. It is easy to speak in this way, but not easy to practice. What does it mean to walk backward? It is to say "Amen" to another’s ministry and to another’s burden. It is not to say "Amen" to your own ministry, but "Amen" to another’s ministry. While one brother is walking straightforward and you are walking backward, you must say "Amen." This means "Amen" to his ministry. To walk sideways is also to say "Amen." The problem today is that in all the local churches, we have too many turns. We do not have the backward walk or the sideways walk. It is very difficult to help the churches to learn to walk sideways. Few are willing to walk in this way.

In one local church, a good brother was responsible for the cleaning service group. He did a good job, but he was always hunting for the strong brothers and the capable sisters to join his cleaning service group. He did not care for outreach or for the building up. He only cared for his cleaning service group. Eventually, this caused a problem in that local church. By this you can see that it is easy for us to cause a division, but it is hard for us to have the proper and real coordination. We all must learn to keep our position and to go straightforward. We also must learn to walk backward, saying "Amen" to another’s position and ministry. Furthermore, we must learn to walk sideways to the right and sideways to the left. We need these four kinds of walks: the straightforward walk, the backward walk, the sideways walk to the right, and the sideways walk to the left. If we have not learned these four kinds of walks, eventually we will become a problem to our local church. If the young people do not learn to have this kind of walk, eventually they will cause problems in the church. The more they grow and learn, the more they will be able to function and to minister, and the more problems they will cause. This is because they only know how to walk straightforward and to have some turn. But remember, there is no turning in the proper coordination. There is no turning to the left or to the right. There is only the straightforward walk, the backward walk, the sideways walk to the right, and the sideways walk to the left. We all must learn to walk in these four ways.


If you are the one who is walking straightforward, you must be very careful to walk according to the leading of the Spirit. Ezekiel 1:12 says, "whither the Spirit was to go, they went." To follow the Spirit is not the business of the other three, but the business of the one who is walking straightforward. The one who is walking straightforward must be careful to follow the leading of the Spirit. Otherwise, the coordination will be broken. It is right that a brother should have a fishing ministry and that another brother should have a mending ministry, but there must be the leading of the Spirit as to whether this is the time to have the fishing or the mending. If now is the time for the church to follow and take care of the fishing ministry, that brother must take the lead under the guidance of the Spirit. The whole church must follow and be one with that brother. While the fishing ministry is going on, those who have the mending ministry or other ministries must coordinate by walking backward or sideways. We must all learn this lesson.

Sometimes brothers need to take the lead to move in a certain direction. But because they are humanly and naturally humble, they hesitate and do not lead in a bold way. This causes the church to be delayed and to have no direction for going on. At other times one who should not be leading takes the lead. This damages the church life. When you should take the lead, do it boldly. When others take the lead, learn to walk backward or sideways. This will enable the church to go on.

(The Visions of Ezekiel, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)