Concerning the Lord's Recovery, by Witness Lee


When God’s people were captured in the Old Testament, all the holy things were lost. In the Old Testament model, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, destroyed the temple with his army, carried away the children of Israel, and also carried away all the utensils of the temple. In the recovery all the utensils were brought back from Babylon to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:7-11). All the utensils in the temple are types of the different aspects of Christ. So in the New Testament when Satan captured the New Testament saints into Babylon the Great, he also captured all the holy things, the different aspects of Christ. In Catholicism hardly anyone knows the truth concerning Christ as our righteousness, Christ as our holiness, Christ as our life, Christ as our life supply. All these things have been lost. Now the Lord wants to recover all these things. He not only wants to call His faithful people out of Babylon and back to the proper church life, but also to recover and bring back all the different aspects of Christ which have been lost. Message after message which we have given have been to bring back all the lost aspects of Christ.


The Lord’s recovery is really among us, and, although the scale is quite small, the standard of the character is higher than Christianity. In the Lord’s recovery the high standard of the character must be kept and maintained. Some have checked with me asking, Do you mean that all the other Christians are rotten and that only the local church people are not rotten? I don’t mean that. If any people have become rotten, they are no more in the reality of the Lord’s recovery. Whatever and whoever is rotten is not in the recovery. The local churches are people who have been recovered out of their rottenness back to the pure church life. The local church is not a kind of organization or religious group. The local church is the pure church life as a pure testimony of Jesus. If we become rotten, we are no longer in the reality of the Lord’s recovery.

This is why in the New Testament the Apostle Paul would not tolerate any kind of immorality. In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul charged the church not to associate with that immoral person. The church as a pure testimony of Christ would not tolerate any impurity, any immorality. The church has to be pure. Once the church becomes rotten, it loses its nature and standing as the Lord’s testimony. When we speak of the local churches, we mean the genuine lovers of Christ, the pure seekers of Christ. These throughout all the centuries are the local church people. We have to get out of Babylon and get away from all the rottenness and corruption.

Some have asked, Do you say that there are no genuine Christians in the Catholic Church or in the Protestant denominations? My answer is that many real Christians are there. But you have to look again at the type in the Old Testament. There were many, many genuine Hebrews left in Babylon. Even Daniel was there. Daniel had no chance to go back, but don’t forget that he opened his window three times a day to pray toward Jerusalem (Dan. 6:10). He was not able to leave Babylon, but he was altogether for the recovery. I do believe the recovery was brought in by his prayer. He prayed a lot in Babylon for God’s people to get out of Babylon.

(Concerning the Lord's Recovery, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)