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


Later, Brother Nee made arrangements for me to edit The Christian, a magazine for young believers, whereas he would edit The Present Testimony, a deeper magazine on the spiritual principles of life. At that time he also decided to publish a paper containing church news. That paper was called The News of the Churches. He charged me to take care of that paper. He also put me into a position of bearing the full responsibility for the ministry in the regular meetings of the church in Shanghai. This was because his health was not good, and he had to rest much of the time. He spoke mostly in the conference meetings.

In 1934, after I had been in Shanghai close to four months, Brother Nee said to me, "Witness, we co-workers feel that you have to move your family to Shanghai so that we can work together. Bring this matter to the Lord, and see how the Lord will lead you." I took his word and brought this matter to the Lord. Then I saw that in the book of Acts there was only one flow, one current. It started from the throne of grace and went to Jerusalem. From Jerusalem this flow proceeded to Samaria and then to Antioch. From Antioch it turned westward to Asia Minor and Europe. The book of Acts shows that there was only one current of the Lord’s move on earth. There is no record of any work which was outside of this current. When Barnabas separated himself from Paul (Acts 15:39-41), there was no more record of his work in Acts. After this incident, he no longer appears in the divine narration in Acts of the Lord’s move in God’s New Testament economy.

The Lord impressed me that the current, the flow, of the Lord’s work in China should be one. If the Lord was to do something in the north, I would have to jump into the flow at Shanghai in the south. Then eventually the flow would proceed to the north from Shanghai. Based on this revelation, I made the decision to go to Shanghai to work with Brother Nee.

After he had a conference with us on the overcoming life of Christ, under his leadership, a decision was made that we co-workers had to go out to the major cities to spread the Lord’s recovery. I was assigned to go to the north to work in Tientsin and Peking. I went to work there in 1936, while Brother Nee remained in Shanghai.

While I was working in northern China, I received a cable from Brother Nee, asking me to come to an urgent conference with all the co-workers. In this conference in January 1937, he released the messages that are now contained in The Normal Christian Church Life. One day during this conference, he was ill, so he charged me to give his message on Acts 13. He gave me all the points and I wrote them down. I did my best to share in this meeting, but I did it in an inadequate way.

Later the decision was made by the work for me to travel throughout the provinces of northern China to teach, if possible, in all the denominations. We felt that since the Lord had given us so much light, we should pass on this light to the denominations. I did much traveling until the Japanese army invaded China. At that time many of the co-workers went to the interior of China, and I joined them. It was there that Brother Nee released the messages on the normal Christian church life a second time. The first conference was not so adequate. In this conference he succeeded in releasing his entire burden.

(The History of the Church and the Local Churches, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)