Watchman Nee's Testimony, by Watchman Nee


When God’s work started in several places in China in 1921, some truths were not clearly distinguished. For instance, grace and law were not clearly defined; nor were the kingdom of heaven and eternal life, grace and reward, or salvation and victory clearly differentiated. The understanding of truths in the Lord was neither deep nor rich enough. However, the understanding of the gospel of grace was comparatively clear, and it was being quite clearly preached at that time when Mr. Wang Ming-dao was in Teh-Chow, Sister Pearl Wang and Ruth Lee were in Nanking, and some other workers and I were in Foochow.

Publishing The Present Testimony

By the end of 1922 I had a burden to publish a magazine, because a number had been saved in Foochow, and the number was increasing. At that time, Brother Leland Wang was away in the Yangtze region doing evangelistic work. Only his wife and children were at home. He asked me to move into his house to help take care of the family. Daily, Sister Wang and I prayed for the magazine. I was at that time extremely pressed financially. After praying for more than a month, there was not a single dollar on hand. One morning I arose and said, "There is no need to pray further—that would be a lack of faith. What I must do is start writing. God need not put the money into our hands before we begin to write! Henceforth, I will no longer pray for this matter, but will proceed with the preparation of drafts."

When everything was ready and the last word had been written, I said, "Now the money will come." Eventually, I knelt down to pray again, saying, "O God, the draft is ready for printing, but there is still no money." After praying thus, I felt wonderfully confident that God would certainly give the money. We began to praise God.

The amazing thing was that we had no more risen to our feet than there was a knock at the door. I thought someone was coming with the money. That house being Sister Wang’s, I let her answer the door. To my surprise, the one who came was a wealthy yet stingy sister. "Oh, since it is she," I thought, "there could be no money." But she said to me, "I have something extremely important to see you about." "Please tell me," I replied. Then she asked, "How should a Christian donate?" I replied that we should not adopt the Old Testament way of paying tithes, but follow the word in 2 Corinthians 9:7, which says that each person should give according to the order of God. He may donate a half, a third, a tenth, or a twentieth of his income. She then asked, "Where should the donation be made?" I answered, "Do not give it to a church which opposes the Lord, nor to those who do not believe the Bible or the redemption of the Lord’s shed blood. If no one contributes to them, they will not be able to carry on their preaching. Pray before each donation; then give it either to the poor or to some work, but never to an improper organization." She said, "The Lord has been speaking to me for many days concerning my excessive devotion to money. At first I could not reconcile myself to this, but now I can do so. When I was praying this morning, the Lord said to me, ‘There is no need for you to pray anymore. Just start giving away your money.’ I was rather disconcerted, but now I am here with thirty dollars for you to use for the Lord’s work." This money was just sufficient for the printing of fourteen hundred copies of The Present Testimony. Later, another person gave an additional thirty dollars, which was sufficient for the postage and incidental expenses. This is how the first issue of The Present Testimony was published.

(Watchman Nee's Testimony, Chapter 2, by Watchman Nee)