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


At the end of May 1935, I returned to Chefoo. Watchman had decided to visit England, but before departing to England, he and his wife planned to come to Chefoo and stay in my home for some rest. Sister Nee came first in July, and Brother Nee came a little later. They were my guests for over one month. For a number of days Watchman went to stay in Tsinan with Brother Stearns, who was an American Presbyterian doctor. This doctor received much spiritual help from him and frequently came with his family from Tsinan to Chefoo for summer vacation.

At that time Watchman and the churches were somewhat depressed. One day after reading an article on revival in a Christian magazine, he said, "We need such a revival." Not long after this, one evening while seeking the Lord in the tennis court of the house where Dr. Stearns stayed, he experienced once more the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Following this, he held a conference with us on the overcoming life of Christ. That conference brought a revival to the church in Chefoo, and I myself obtained the greatest help in experiencing Christ as the overcoming life.

Because of the revival, Watchman canceled his trip to England and returned to Shanghai. Since the Lord had caused a revival, the decision was made that the co-workers were to go out to the major cities to spread the Lord’s recovery. I was assigned to work in the north and went to Tientsin, the largest port of northern China near the old capital, Peking. This was done under the direct instruction of Brother Nee. At that time I traveled to Shanghai to see him concerning this matter.

In January of 1936, I, together with Peace Wang, a young sister under instruction, and two young brother co-workers, were sent there. After a short time, Watchman came to Peking and Tientsin to strengthen the start of the work there. We arranged a week of special meetings for him to preach the gospel to the upper class. After those special meetings, Watchman returned to Shanghai and continued to work there for the Lord’s recovery.

In May of the same year, a high official of the provincial government of Honan, a Christian brother, being zealous for gospel preaching among his colleagues, invited Peace Wang to preach the gospel to them and then invited Watchman and me to do the same. We both went according to his request and stayed in his home for about a week. We preached the gospel to the governor and all his high officials with their wives and friends in that brother’s courtyard in the evenings. The meetings were quite prevailing. During the daytime Watchman and I spent our time in fellowship. He was again somewhat depressed, and one day he said to me, "If Sister M. E. Barber were still alive, our spiritual condition would be uplifted." This made me realize that he was seeking some spiritual help.

In the fall of that year, I took the initiative to contact the Pentecostal movement in Peking and began to speak in tongues, at the same time helping others to do the same. When the news of this arrived in Shanghai, Watchman sent me a cable with the word from 1 Corinthians 12:30: "Do all speak in tongues?" That simple cable helped me a great deal in that situation.

(Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, Chapter 32, by Witness Lee)