The History of the Church and the Local Churches, by Witness Lee


At this point I would like to fellowship about my realization of Brother Nee through my contact with him. Brother Nee and I were far away from one another when we were young Christians. He was in southern China, and I was in northern China. He was saved in 1920, and I was saved in 1925. My mother was baptized as a teenager, and she became a member of a Southern Baptist denomination. I was brought up and educated in Christianity, but I was not saved. One day I heard that a young lady preacher around twenty-five years old was coming to my town to hold some gospel meetings. I was nineteen years old at that time. I was curious to see such a young woman preach the gospel.

One afternoon I went to hear her speak. Since that time I have never seen a person preaching who was that prevailing. She was preaching to a crowd of over one thousand people about how Satan has captured, possessed, and occupied people. She used the story of Pharaoh having the children of Israel under his tyranny. I was captured by the Lord because of her preaching. That young sister’s name was Peace Wang. She became the second sister who was a co-worker among us after Ruth Lee. Through her preaching I was saved in April 1925. At that time as a young man, I was very ambitious, but I was really turned to the Lord.

I loved the Lord, but I had nowhere to go for help. I tried to collect books about the Bible to help me understand it. In my hometown there was a Christian paper called The Morning Star. In that paper there was an article by Brother Nee. It was the best article in the paper to me, and I enjoyed reading it. I did my best to collect all of the issues with his articles. I had never met him, and from reading his articles I thought that he must have been an old writer. In one of the issues, there was an advertisement for people who wanted to subscribe to Brother Nee’s monthly magazine entitled The Christian. I sent in my subscription and received the twenty-four issues of The Christian in 1925 and 1926.

During that time I wrote to Brother Nee. This was the beginning of my contact with him through written correspondence. Mostly, I asked him questions about the Bible. In one letter I asked him to tell me the best book to help me understand the whole Bible. He told me that according to his knowledge, the best book to help me know the whole Bible was J. N. Darby’s Synopsis of the Books of the Bible. He said that I would have to read it a number of times in order to understand it. Later when I went to visit him for the first time, he gave me a set of Darby’s five-volume synopsis.

By reading Brother Nee’s writings, I began to realize the truth concerning what the proper church is and the wrongdoings of Christianity. Although I was then in a denomination, I was inwardly through with the denominations. In my denomination there was a young man who noticed that I had become different from the others. One day he came to me and asked me how we could know that we are saved. I gave him a booklet by Brother Nee on the assurance of salvation. After reading that, he was clear that he was saved. Eventually, our pastor referred to us two as Joshua and Caleb.

(The History of the Church and the Local Churches, Chapter 9, by Witness Lee)