STIRRING UP CHRISTIANS TO SEEK THE TRUTHS
Watchman’s ministry also had the characteristic that it stirred up his listeners to seek the truth according to the Scriptures. Before his ministry was raised up, not many Christians in China were interested in checking all truth with the Scriptures. Most Christians simply followed tradition both in teaching and in practice. Whatever the missionaries and pastors taught and practiced, the Christians swallowed without exercising much discernment of the Spirit and without checking it according to the holy Word.
Watchman Nee was a pioneer in questioning every doctrine, form, ritual, and sacrament of today’s Christianity. He checked every item with the pure word of God in the Scriptures. In this way he discovered many truths in the Scriptures himself and created an atmosphere of seeking after the truth among seeking Christians. This questioning attitude became a constituent and characteristic of his ministry which spontaneously helped all who came in touch with him to drop the inaccurate and unscriptural teachings and practices. A love of studying the Bible was stirred up in the hearts of God’s people. This became a great tide among the Christians in the Far East. Because of this ministry, many lives were changed, many marriages and families were adjusted, many were helped to grow in life, many were enlightened to know the will of God, and many were captured and turned to the Lord’s recovery. Also many outward practices in many denominations which were not scriptural became adjusted. Terms such as "fellowship," "meeting time," "brother" or "sister," "the Lord’s table," and many other terms not commonly used before became common practice through Watchman Nee’s ministry. When I was a young man, I often heard my pastor use the term "denominations" in a formal and official way without any negative connotation. However, after Watchman’s ministry sounded the trumpet against denominationalism, no one dared use the term "denomination" in a positive sense. Nearly all Christian leaders became convinced that denominations were doctrinally wrong. Although they would not give up their denominations, they did insist that in spite of their denominations they would not have the spirit of the denominations. But the denominations, they claimed, were still needed for the spread of the gospel and the edifying of believers. The trumpet sound of Watchman Nee’s ministry against denominationalism has left an indelible impression upon the ears and consciences of all Christians in the Far East up to this very day.
USHERING THE SEEKING BELIEVERS INTO SPIRITUALITY
Watchman Nee’s ministry was spiritual in nature and laid great stress on spirituality. Many seeking believers were helped to divide soul from spirit. Before the ministry of the word of God was manifested through him, few Chinese Christians knew how to discern the difference between soul and spirit. Now, since his ministry has been continuing for many years, emphasizing the importance of knowing the soul negatively and knowing the spirit positively, the matter of seeking spirituality has become commonplace among Christians in the Far East. Though many Christians in the Far East do not live according to the spirit but according to the flesh or the soul, they nevertheless have come to know through his ministry that there is a difference between a life and a walk which are fleshly and soulish and a life and a walk which are spiritual. What Watchman’s ministry did was to pave the way for seeking Christians to live and work according to the spirit, rather than according to the flesh or the soul. His ministry in this aspect greatly uplifted the standard of Christian life in the Far East.
(Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, Chapter 29, by Witness Lee)