Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, by Witness Lee


While in Shanghai in October 1933, Watchman received me as his guest. I stayed with him for about four months, and during that time he did a number of things to perfect me. Concerning some of these things, I was clear what he was doing, and concerning others I was not clear at the time. I spent much time with him. We were together for many hours, and I always gave him the opportunity to speak. I would not speak, for I realized that the more I spoke, the more foolish I was. I gave all the time to him. He never talked with me about vain things but always took the opportunity to speak with me mainly about four matters.

First, he helped me know the Lord as life. Before I stayed with him, I loved the Lord and had already obtained a great deal of doctrinal knowledge of the Bible. But I was not clear concerning life. It was not until I spent time with him that my eyes were opened to see the matter of life.

One afternoon as we sat together, neither of us said a word. I was seated on a sofa and he in a rocking chair. While he was rocking, he began to ask me, "Brother Witness, what is patience?" I was puzzled. The question was too simple. Surely we all know what patience is. But since this question came from his mouth, it had to be of considerable import. I dared not answer. While he was rocking, he continued, "What is patience?" I did not understand what his intention with me was at that time. He had a burden, but I did not comprehend it. Eventually I said, "Well, patience to me is a sort of endurance. When people ill-treat you and persecute you, yet you endure the suffering, that is patience." He shook his head and said, "No!" Then I said, "Please tell me, what is patience?" He answered, "Patience is Christ." I could not understand it. It sounded like a foreign language to me. I asked, "Brother, what do you mean by saying that patience is Christ? Would you explain it to me?" He only continued rocking. He offered not a word of explanation. "Patience is Christ," he repeated. I was not only puzzled but deeply bothered. We remained in that state for a long time. I would not raise any other question, and he would say nothing else. I was very eager to know what he meant, but after a long period with no explanation forthcoming, I was fully disappointed. It was late in the afternoon, and eventually I said, "Brother Nee, the time is gone; I must return to have my dinner." He replied, "All right."

When I returned to the guest house, I was really troubled. I went to my room and prayed, "Lord, what does it mean that patience is Christ?" The Lord spoke to me in those days, and my eyes were opened. I saw that Christ Himself is my patience. Real patience is not a kind of behavior, but just Christ lived out from me. I saw it! It was in this way that Watchman helped me so greatly in the matter of life.

Second, during these times of fellowship Watchman also related to me the history of the Lord’s move with him from the year he was saved up to that day. I was not fully in the church, nor was I in the work in those first ten years of the Lord’s recovery; so he used hour after hour to convey the things to me concerning the Lord’s move in those years, not in a brief way but in full detail. At the time I did not understand his reason for relating those things to me, but later I knew. He purposed to perfect me and build me up. He was laying a good foundation.

(Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, Chapter 31, by Witness Lee)