PERFECTING THE BELIEVERS
to Produce Standard Christians
We have to say something about the training in Foochow. Our work in the past had certain problems; we did not produce "standard" Christians. Among us, those who were saved during certain years bear certain kinds of resemblances. Those who were saved during certain other years bear certain other kinds of resemblances. Their resemblance is based on our knowledge of the truth during that period of time.
In addition, there are certain problems with the brothers who are speaking for the Lord; none of them want to say the same thing twice. In this way, some brothers and sisters have been Christians for over eight or ten years, yet they still do not know the basic truths. They think that such and such a chapel is just the same as Wen-teh Li [the meeting place of the church in Shanghai]. They do not even recognize our own name! A Christian acts according to the principle of constitution. Hospitals, schools, and orphanages can be built at will. But a nation cannot be formed at will; it must have its ground and its constitution. Likewise, the church also has its ground and its constitution. We have not given the brothers and sisters the proper education. As a result, once they encounter some problems, or they are questioned by those in the denominations, they do not know how to give an answer, and they end up thinking that our responsible brothers are at odds with others.
Having Basic Lessons,
and Receiving the Same Teachings
There are many basic lessons that we have to pass on to the saints. Those who have been saved in recent years may be clear concerning salvation. But they are not clear concerning the gospel. Our understanding of subjects such as the gospel, the law, death, sin, righteousness, and grace is different from that of others. We have fought the battle over these truths already. These are the inheritance of the church, and we cannot lose them. For the brothers and sisters, we may have to prepare fifty or more lessons. We have to educate the brothers and sisters with these lessons. I hope that many brothers and sisters among us will receive the same teachings.
In addition to these lessons, there are other basic lessons. For example, we should know how to make recompense, what to do when a person is caused to stumble, how to receive answers to prayers, how to study the Bible, what kind of attitude a Christian should take toward money, and how to choose an occupation. In these matters, the co-workers must first be trained, and then they can communicate these matters to others. These truths must be something living in us before they can be communicated to others in a living way. This is what I mean by the relay race.
The Workers Having to Be Living
and Having to Be Full of Life
We have divided the whole of Shanghai into thirteen districts, and we have started the perfecting meetings in every district. Every Friday, we conduct some perfecting meetings. Each week of the fifty-two weeks of the year, we speak on one subject. In one year’s time, we return to the first subject. We do not change these subjects. Although the responsible ones do not take the roll, they should know who is there and who is not there. Suppose you are saved in the twentieth week. You will join the others in the perfecting meetings right away. By the nineteenth week of the following year, you will have completed one cycle. In doing this work, every worker must be living before the Lord and must be full of life. Otherwise, the truth will become something dead with him. If it becomes dead, we will end up with another Common Prayer Book. We do not wish to see this. Although the subjects may be the same, the life can be different, and the power can be different. By summer of this year, over thirty of our co-workers will have to be trained in this matter.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 70, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)