ONLY THOSE HAVING BEEN
DEALT WITH BY THE LORD
AND WHO KNOW THE LORD’S MIND
BEING ABLE TO BE THE AUTHORITY
The deepest chapter in the New Testament concerning man’s experience is 1 Corinthians 7. There Paul said that he did not have the commandment from the Lord. Yet up to a certain point, he said that he had the confidence that he had the Spirit of God (v. 40). Paul said that he gave the brothers his own opinion. It was as if he was saying that he had followed the Lord for twelve years, and that according to him the matter should be taken care of in such and such a way. In the end, he said that in his spirit he felt that he had the Spirit of God. Because he had been dealt with by the Lord in many things, he could speak according to the principle by which he had been dealt with. He had followed the Lord for so many years and had learned so much. He was brought to the point where he could say that he knew the Lord’s heart.
Abraham and Enoch walked with God. That is why they knew God’s way. God did not have to tell them anything; they simply knew God’s heart. It is a strange thing for a man to follow the Lord many years and yet not know the pace the Lord is taking, the direction He is turning, or the method He is using. A person who knows God’s heart knows the Lord’s mind even before He makes things manifest.
We need to be a person who has been taught by God and one who is under control. Only those who do not speak carelessly or express their opinions carelessly can hope to be used by God. Only these ones can represent the Head. Only such kind of people can lead the brothers and sisters on in the way ahead of them. God will never entrust authority to those who by nature like to criticize others. In order for a man to submit, his head must first be cut off. If you are a person with your head removed, you will immediately sense when others’ heads have asserted themselves. You will feel their assertion of headship like feeling an electric shock. Once you touch them, you will realize that they have asserted their headship, and that in certain matters they have rebelled. You know it because you yourself have been judged in this matter already. This is why you can feel it when similar cases come up. If a brother has been dealt with in these two things, that is, in the matter of speaking and in learning not to assume headship, there will be no difficulty in the exercise of authority. Those who have caused problems in these two matters have never known what the Body is.
AN ADDITIONAL WORD
Brother Witness Lee: In our contact with the brothers and sisters, if we pay much attention to the outward methods, we will become a movement. Today, we have not spent enough time on the matter of life and revelation.
NOT BEING A PRETENDER TO THE THRONE
Brother Nee said: In French history, there were certain persons who were called pretenders to the throne. The throne did not belong to such ones. Yet they claimed to have it. It is somewhat like the last Chinese Emperor Pu-yi, who had lost his empire already, but who continued to claim himself to be the emperor.
Today, many people claim that they are the church, or that they are the authority. Whether it is in the Roman Catholic church, the Presbyterian church, the Baptist church, or the Methodist church, all those who claim themselves to be the church or that they have the authority are the "pretenders to the throne." The Roman Catholic church says that Peter was the first Pope, and that all subsequent popes are the representatives of Christ. Today, if we are a little more clever and a little less clear about the boundary line, we will fall into their error and will become a pretender to the throne also.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 66, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)