Basic Principles for the Practice of the Church Life, by Witness Lee


We also must realize that spiritual warfare is not a fighting against humans, that is, against flesh and blood. Rather, we fight with the spiritual forces, the evil spirits. This is not a small matter. I still remember well how Brother Watchman Nee held a conference in 1928 in which he spoke about the spiritual warfare in a very practical and detailed way. He was very much attacked by the enemy for this. After a certain period of time he told me, “Brother, if we are going to talk about spiritual warfare and deal with it in a practical way, we need at least thirty brothers and sisters to pray for us day and night. Otherwise, there will be many attacks.” Therefore, may the Lord cover us with His blood! The evil spiritual forces are not merely a doctrine or a term. In the universe there is such an evil force, which is the kingdom of darkness, the evil spirits. Even today we may not realize how much the evil spirits are working to damage the kingdom of God in order to frustrate the fulfillment of God’s purpose. This is a real fighting. Therefore, we do not fight with flesh and blood. We fight with the evil spirits. Our enemy is not people; our enemy is the forces of darkness.

In the past years and even up until today, it is difficult to say how many rumors the enemy has been constantly spreading. In 2 Corinthians 6:8 the apostle Paul speaks of “evil report and good report.” Even the apostle suffered many evil reports. The evil reports are simply rumors. I do not have the time or the heart to speak in detail, but it is a fact that there has been rumor after rumor constantly against us. Whenever one is in the lead, he is exposed to attack to some degree, and the attack of the enemy is upon him. When we were in mainland China, Brother Nee was very exposed to attack because he was taking the lead. I was very close to him, and nearly day by day I saw many things. As early as 1934 I was brought into this fighting because from that time on I began to share the responsibility to deal with this warfare. I saw the wiles, the tactics, and the subtle ways of the enemy and how our brother was attacked very much. The most serious attacks were the rumors.

There is such a reality that in this universe there are the evil forces of darkness, the evil spirits, fighting, frustrating, and damaging the interests of the Lord’s kingdom and His testimony. What shall we do? Shall we consider those who have been utilized by the enemy to spread rumors as our enemy? If we do this, we are wrong. The real enemy is not the people. The real enemy is the evil forces behind the people. The people are merely the puppets of the enemy to be utilized by him. We should not fight the people; we should fight the evil forces behind them. The way to fight the evil forces is not by the flesh but by the Spirit, in the Spirit, and by prayer. The only way we can deal with the enemy who is working, fighting, behind certain people is to pray, to appeal to the throne in the heavens as the highest authority. Therefore, there is the need for real and prevailing corporate prayer. The church needs to come together to pray, not to deal with people. I have learned the lesson that whenever there is a rumor, we should not deal with it directly. When there is a rumor about the church, we should not talk to people or explain things to them. The more we explain, the more the rumors will come out. We should simply go to the Lord and appeal to the highest authority. Through the throne we deal with the evil forces which are behind the blood and flesh. We must learn this and practice this.

(Basic Principles for the Practice of the Church Life, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)