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


1. The Assurance of Salvation

The first thing the Lord showed us through Brother Nee was the assurance of salvation. The Lord sent many men of God to China as missionaries. They preached the gospel, but they did not help people to know that they were saved. Before Brother Nee was raised up, no one had made the assurance of salvation clear among the Chinese. Although they knew they were Christians, they did not think that a person could know he was saved. They thought that it was too proud for a person to say that he knew he was saved. Their concept was that they believed in the Lord Jesus, and they would do their best until the day they would see Him. In that day they would know whether or not they were saved. To them it was only at that time they would be assured of their salvation. They did not believe you could have the assurance of salvation today.

Many of the Chinese were really saved. In a sense, they realized that they were children of God, but if you checked with them, they would not say that they were saved. Then the Lord raised up Brother Nee. He was so clear about the assurance of salvation, and this was the first thing which he saw from the Lord and ministered to the believers. Even by the time I entered into the work with him in 1933, we were still speaking messages on the assurance of salvation. We always helped people to hold on to one verse for their assurance. This is because their assurance was in the written Word of God with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We would ask people to read a verse like John 3:16 until they realized that they were assured of their salvation.

2. The Deviation of Christianity

After Brother Nee was saved, he made the decision to read the entire Bible. Through his reading of the Bible, the Lord showed him the deviation of Christianity. Christianity had deviated from the Scriptures and from the Lord’s way. Much of the practice of today’s Christianity is a deviation from the holy Word.

3. The Church

Mainly through Brother Nee, the Lord showed us the church. This is the third main revelation the Lord gave us. We saw the church as the Body of Christ. Brother Nee told people that the church is not a building, an organization of Christianity, or a mission. He declared that the church is an organism, the Body of Christ, and that in another sense, the church is the ekklesia, a Greek word referring to the church as the called-out assembly.

(The History of the Church and the Local Churches, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)