We may have growth in life, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, fellowship with the Lord without any barrier, a good character, and constitution with truth; however, if we do not have a good command of language, this will be a shortcoming. When I say that we must have a good command of language, I am referring not only to foreign languages but also to our mother tongue. If we intend to speak for the Lord but do not have an adequate vocabulary, even if we have a great deal of knowledge within us, we will not be able to adequately express any of it. If this is the case, then everything that we have learned will be in vain. We often hear people say, “I know a lot, but I do not know how to say it. I really understand this matter, but I do not know how to explain it.” It is useless to say this. If you do not know how to say what you know, then whatever you say will be in vain, and even if you try to say something it will be as if you have not said anything. For this reason, we must have much learning with regard to language. The first thing we have to learn is our mother tongue. The Chinese people constitute one-fourth of the world’s population, so we must have a good command of the Chinese language so that we may be able to speak for the Lord.
Second, since we have a desire to know the Bible, we must go back to the original language. Therefore, we have to study Greek, the language in which the New Testament was written. We should at least be able to recognize the Greek alphabet, learn some basic grammar, learn to use Greek dictionaries, and read the interlinear Greek-English Bible. In this way, once we read a Greek word, we will recognize it and know how to study it. This will help us in the study of the truth. This is not very difficult, so I hope that we all can learn Greek at least to this extent.
Third, we have to learn English well, since it is today’s international language. Wherever we go, it may be all right if we do not know other languages, but if we do not know English, it will be very difficult for us to get around. Even if we go to regions like India, Burma, and Africa, as long as we can speak a little English, we will be able to travel anywhere freely. Therefore, once we know English, we will be able to travel throughout the world. We can be sure that in the future many will be sent to the various parts of the world. Moreover, since Taiwan is a center and base of the Lord’s recovery, many saints from different countries all over the world will come to visit. Therefore, we need to learn English all the more.
Furthermore, we have to seek the Lord’s leading to learn an extra language, such as Spanish, French, or German. Any additional equipping will give the Lord an additional way in us. Generally speaking, if we want to serve the Lord full-time, we should be familiar with at least four languages.
I predict that in no more than six or seven years, many of our young full-timers will be sent forth, unless they do not have the burden, the environment does not allow it, or they do not have the leading in their spirit. I really hope that the Lord will enable us to carry out our plan, so that within ten years all of Taiwan will be gospelized and will even more be saturated with the truth and the church. The degree of saturation, however, will depend on the number of people who labor. The more laborers, the greater the intensity of saturation will be. Not to mention other places, the communities in Taiwan alone will require the labor of several hundred people. Suppose that right now we had five hundred full-timers who were devoted to laboring in the communities in Taipei. I believe that they would be able to lead three or five thousand people to salvation in a month. If we have five hundred full-timers coordinating with approximately one thousand eight hundred working saints or elderly saints to knock on doors every day, just consider how great the impact would be!
If there is no longer the need to take care of the towns and villages, all of the full-timers can stay in Taipei to labor in the communities. If we did this, I believe that within a year we may be able to bring in ten thousand people. However, we cannot do this, because it is against the principle of the Bible. The book of Acts shows us that when the number of saved ones in Jerusalem increased, they should have spread out for propagation. However, because they failed to do so, God had to raise up persecution to force them out. We should not wait until God drives us out; rather, we should take the initiative to cooperate with God. In five or six years, when a church has been raised up in every town and when almost every city or village has been evangelized, we should all go abroad. By that time, all of the full-time serving ones will have gained a thorough knowledge of the truth, will have become experienced in the work, and will be able to meet the need in the matter of language. Therefore, they will be able to go abroad immediately for the Lord’s work.
Today scattered throughout the five continents there are more than six hundred churches who are waiting. Our going there will simply be a reaction or a response. These churches will welcome us very much. Do not think that there is not any need in America. This is not true. There is a need for us to go even to America. Once we go, we will bring in a kind of mutual flow between us. Then America will be stirred up. The circulation of blood is essential to the health of our body. This is the Lord’s ordination. At Paul’s time, people could communicate and fellowship with one another only through sailboats or the Roman highways. Today we are in the age of the “Global Village.” The whole world is just a big village. We can communicate conveniently through airplanes, telephones, telegrams, computers, television, and radio broadcasts. Thus, we must seize the opportunity to have more fellowship with one another.
Thank the Lord that He has given us three great resources: first, the rich truths; second, the churches scattered all over the globe; and third, a stable political situation, a prosperous economy, and an advanced educational system which enables us to produce a group of young full-time serving ones. Today on this small island of Taiwan twenty million people are gathered here. They are all of high quality and are just like fish for us to catch. Recently, with only a few days of labor we were able to gain more than two hundred people. The educational foundation is the source of this. Moreover, the prosperity of Taiwan’s economy makes it possible to meet the needs of the full-timers. All of these situations are the Lord’s doing. Hence, we all have to grasp the opportunity to equip ourselves.
(The Economy of God and the Mystery of the Transmission of the Divine Trinity, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)