Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, by Witness Lee


Watchman Nee saw that he had been crucified with Christ and that he had risen with Christ. The resurrected Christ with the fullness of the Spirit had become his life. It was by the resurrection life of the indwelling Christ that he was able to bear the cross and to participate in the fellowship of His sufferings and be conformed to His death. By the resurrection life of Christ, he abandoned the world, forsook his future, denied himself, was freed from sin, overcame besetting sins, subdued Satan’s temptations, conquered Satan’s evil wiles, and defeated Satan himself. It was also by the resurrection life of Christ that he served the Lord, worked for Him, and carried out His commission. He consistently rejected his natural strength in the Lord’s service. He feared the intrusion of himself into the Lord’s work. He dared not minister apart from the indwelling Christ. In delivering messages, contacting people, writing articles, corresponding with the saints, and in all trifling things, he acted not by himself but by the resurrected life.

He further saw that the church as the Body of Christ was simply the enlargement, expansion, and expression of the resurrected Christ. His vision that Christ in resurrection was the life and content of the church was unique. He not only ministered by the resurrected Christ, but also ministered the resurrected Christ to the saints for the building up of His Body. He frequently emphasized that anything which is not Christ in resurrection is not the church, and anything not done by the resurrected Christ is something foreign in the Body. He would serve the church with nothing but the resurrected Christ. The more he continued his ministry, the more he ministered the resurrected Christ to the saints and to the churches. The resurrected Christ became not only his life and living, but also his message and ministry. He was one who not only knew resurrection life and who lived and ministered by and with the resurrected Christ; he was also one who bore the cross, participated in His suffering, and was being conformed to His death. I believe it was by living such a resurrected life that he was able to pass through the long martyrdom of twenty years’ imprisonment which finally ended in death.


Watchman Nee received a clear vision of what it means to be an overcomer by studying the Scriptures and reading the writings of Jessie Penn-Lewis. He saw the principle in both the Old Testament and the New Testament that whenever God’s people failed Him, He called some back to His original standard to overcome the defeated situation and fulfill His purpose. This is emphasized repeatedly by the Lord in the seven epistles to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. He saw that the church was in a defeated condition, and he felt called by the Lord to be an overcomer in this age so that the Lord might recover His original purpose concerning His church. The rich provision of God’s sufficient grace enabled him to live such an overcoming life by the power of the resurrected Christ. His overcoming life was the result of living a crucified and resurrected life. By the crucified and resurrected life, he overcame sin, the world, self, self-pity, natural temperament, the flesh, and Satan. By the crucified and resurrected life, he also overcame defeated, degraded, and deviated Christianity with all its forms and traditions. He equally overcame Christianity’s criticisms, rejections, oppositions, and persecutions by the crucified and resurrected life. By living such a life, he followed his Master as the Lamb and bore His reproach outside the camp of Christianity in an overcoming way. In living such an overcoming life, he followed in the footsteps of the apostle Paul by filling up what was lacking of the afflictions of Christ for His Body’s sake (Col. 1:24). Ultimately, by living such an overcoming life, he became a living witness of Christ, bearing "the testimony of Jesus" (Rev. 1:9) not only in the sin-stricken world but also in Satan-stricken Christianity. The overcoming life which he lived eventually became his testimony of the Lord for His recovery.

(Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)