The Visions of Ezekiel, by Witness Lee


Then Ezekiel says that every one of the living creatures went straightforward. They did not turn, but some returned. While one of the living creatures is walking toward the north, the living creature facing the south must return, walking backward. Thus, one goes straightforward while the opposite creature returns. At the same time, the other two must walk sideways. One walks sideways to the left, and the other walks sideways to the right. No matter which direction the four living creatures are moving, there is no need to turn. One simply goes straightforward, one returns, walking backward, and the other two walk sideways.

This is a beautiful picture of the coordination that we need in the local churches. Many young people cannot suffer to be coordinated together. Rather, they prefer to be separated. As long as they are separated, there is no suffering. But, once they become coordinated, there is a kind of suffering. In coordination there is no freedom, no convenience, but it saves a lot of turns. If one is walking by himself, he may walk to the north, turn, and walk to the east; he may turn again and walk to the south; he may turn again and walk to the west. He may go in all four of these directions by having many turns. But in the Lord’s ministry there is no turning. Everyone must go straightforward. If someone does everything without coordination in the church service, he must make a lot of turns. If he does the cleaning, if he plays the piano, if he does the singing, if he does the speaking, if he does all the functioning, then he must make a lot of turns. In the church service, there is no need of any turns. Everyone has his function; everyone has his position. He can simply go straightforward in his position, in his function. If there is the need of some other direction, others can take care of that. There is no need for him to turn. We all must learn not only how to walk straightforward, but also how to return (that is, to walk backward) and also how to walk sideways. Though this may seem quite awkward, we all must learn this lesson; otherwise, we can never be coordinated. Some brothers and sisters are too flexible. They make a lot of turns. When there is the need to walk south, they walk south. When there is the need to walk east, they turn and walk east. No matter what direction is needed, they always turn to walk in that direction. They do everything. They do not need others to coordinate with them. The problem is that people either want to do everything or nothing at all. If they are asked to walk, they want to walk in all four directions. They want to make a lot of turns.

In the proper coordinated way, there is no left turn; neither is there a right turn. There are no turns. Either you walk straightforward or you return, that is, you walk backward. Or you walk sideways. The most difficult thing is to walk sideways like a crab. Many brothers and sisters are unable to have a crab walk. We must have the proper coordination in the local churches. In some of the churches, certain brothers and sisters are very capable and they make a lot of turns. Other brothers and sisters are not so capable, so they do nothing. This means there is no coordination. We all must learn to walk straightforward and to walk backward and to walk sideways. We must practice to have this kind of coordination.


If in a local church one brother has a ministry to build up the saints and another brother has a ministry of preaching the gospel, they must coordinate. Otherwise, they may cause a problem. If there were only one ministry, there would be little problem. With one ministry, there would be no fighting. But when there are two ministries within a local church, unless these two brothers know how to coordinate, they will surely compete and fight against each other. The brother who is burdened for the gospel will be fighting for the gospel, for the outreach, for the increase. He will go to many brothers and sisters to convince them to join him for the outreach. The other brother will say, "All the gospel-preaching brother knows is outreach. Gospel, gospel, gospel! He brings in many new ones, creating a lot of diaper work. He brings them in, but he doesn’t care for them. He is too much for the outreach. Look at today’s poor church situation. All the meetings are full of childish, babyish ones." He would tell the saints not to go out for the gospel, but to come and help him do the diaper work. Do you realize that the result of these two ministries would be a kind of division? There would be a division into a gospel sect and a shepherding sect.

What then shall they do? At this point, they have to learn to coordinate. Whenever the brother with the fishing ministry is functioning, the other brother must learn to walk backward. Then, when the brother with the mending ministry is functioning, the brother with the gospel ministry must learn to walk backward. All the other saints must follow these two, walking sideways. Sometimes they walk sideways to the left, following the fishing ministry. At other times they walk sideways to the right, following the mending ministry. This enables the body to move, but it is not easy to learn.

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