MEETINGS THAT ARE LIVING AND HAVE THE SPIRIT
I hope that we all can be clear that we Christians have God with us. God’s presence is like the air. Thus, we do not need to seek for any feeling. The more any matter is related to life, the more it needs to be normal. The thing we need the most is air, yet our breathing is a very ordinary thing, without any special feeling. The more experience I have, the more I sense that our spiritual life is similar to our physical life—the more normal it is, the fewer problems there are, and the less need there is for any feeling. After we finish eating a meal, digestion begins to take place in our stomach, yet we do not feel it at all. If we feel something, that is a sign that there is something wrong. The more we regularly experience the spiritual things, the richer we become, yet there is no spectacular sensation. Now we are gathered here into the Lord’s name. Although we do not particularly sense the Lord’s presence, we have to admit that the Lord is with us. His being with us is like the air’s being with us. The Lord’s name is the Lord Himself. When we are gathered into the Lord’s name, we come into the Lord’s presence.
Therefore, I hope that from this day on in our gatherings, no one would wait. Once we come into a meeting, we should call on the Lord, praise the Lord, and begin to pray. When someone begins and another continues, the meeting begins. Some may pray, some may call hymns, and some may testify. Whoever comes into the meeting first should begin the meeting. Then those who come later should continue. As more and more people come, the meeting will become richer and richer. There are no forms or rituals, for the letter kills (2 Cor. 3:6b). The letter refers to the ordinances of the Old Testament law. The Old Testament is the age of the law. What the Old Testament speaks about is just the law. But when we come to the New Testament, nothing is of the law, but everything is a matter of the Spirit. Hence, whenever we meet, our meeting must be living and must have the Spirit.
A SERVICE THAT IS EFFECTIVE
I would like to speak concerning another matter. Formerly, when we were leading people to salvation, we first considered them as seeking friends. After hearing the gospel and believing and receiving the Lord, they had to successfully pass through an interview concerning baptism. It was only after they had passed the interview that they could be baptized and saved. Now we have changed. As long as a person believes, he can be baptized immediately, and he is regenerated and saved. Furthermore, the Bible says, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). It does not say that one is baptized after he is saved. Baptism is not carried out after a person is saved; baptism is part of the process of being saved. It is not that one believes and is saved and therefore should be baptized. Rather, it is that one believes and is baptized and therefore is saved. We must be clear concerning this matter.
Moreover, we have tried many ways in the Lord’s recovery related to the preaching of the gospel for fruit bearing. Thus far I can say that the most effective way is not merely to love the Lord and have a heart to save souls, but to be revived every morning and to overcome daily. To have a morning revival means that every morning, following the sequence in the Bible, you use two or three verses of the Word to enjoy the Lord not only by reading, but even more by praying. You should not merely read, nor should you pray with your own words. Rather, you should turn the words in the Bible into your prayer to the Lord. In this way you will receive a supply, and your entire being will be revived. This is like the sun rising again every day to re-enliven all things. This is a law of life. Then, based on such a revival, during the whole day you will have these few enjoyable verses of Scripture in you as your sustaining strength for the supply of your daily walk. Then you will overcome daily.
After you experience the morning revival and the daily overcoming, you will receive the burden to preach the gospel. Whether or not you have the opportunity, you will preach the gospel. You can make a list of the names of twenty of your relatives, colleagues, classmates, and neighbors, and pray for them. These are "warm doors" for you to visit. You also may coordinate with other saints to preach to those who have not yet believed, even though you have been contacting them for a long time. Moreover, you may also bring them to the group meetings to give them the opportunity to contact others and listen to testimonies. Then, you may preach the gospel to them individually and exercise the Lord’s authority to lead them to believe in Christ, to call on the Lord’s name, and to be baptized and be saved. After their baptism, you should give them a lesson to show them that today the Lord is the Spirit dwelling in them. You need to teach them how to exercise their spirit to call on the Lord’s name at any time and to pray to Jesus in everything. Then you may make an appointment with them to call them every morning to have a morning revival, and you may also tell them that from that night on they should read one chapter of the Bible every night before they go to bed. After you have led someone to salvation, he becomes a child begotten by you through the gospel. Therefore, you need to take care of him and nourish him. You need to visit him personally every three to five days. You should be concerned about him and supply him with life and lead him on. After you continue to do this for two or three months, he will become a remaining fruit, one who remains in the church life.
I hope that after hearing this kind of speaking, every one of you will mean business to practice it and do it in a thorough way. If you really do this, the church will increase yearly and will be full of riches and glory.
(A message given by Brother Witness Lee in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia on October 24, 1990)
(The Up-to-Date Presentation of the God-Ordained Way and the Signs Concerning the Coming of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)