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


In the previous chapter, I shared that I was called by the Lord to serve Him in a full way on the day that I was saved. I gave up my job to serve Him full-time in 1933. Brother Nee wrote me a short note to strongly confirm my decision. After I gave up my job, I went to Shanghai and stayed with Brother Nee as his guest for about four months. During that time, I spent many hours with him in personal fellowship. He talked to me and helped me mainly in four things.

Helping Me to Know Christ as Life

First, he helped me to know the Lord’s life. Before I went to stay with him, I loved the Lord and had learned a lot about the Bible, but my knowledge was mostly according to the letter. I was not that clear about Christ as life. When I contacted him, my eyes were opened to see life. When we came together, there was no form or rule to our conversation. His conversation with me was very free, and he would cover many different subjects. I considered myself as a learner, so I would always give him all the time to speak.

One day we were together, and Brother Nee was sitting in a rocking chair. While he was rocking back and forth, he suddenly asked me, "Witness, what is patience?" His question puzzled me because it seemed too simple. I knew that his question was more meaningful than it appeared, so I did not know how to answer. He asked me this question again. Then I said that patience is a kind of endurance by which one endures suffering, persecution, and ill treatment from others. He said that this was not patience. Then I asked him to tell me what patience is. He answered, "Patience is Christ." That sounded like a foreign language to me. I had never heard someone say that patience is Christ.

I asked Brother Nee to explain what he meant. But he would only say repeatedly, "Patience is Christ." I was very puzzled and bothered because I did not know what he meant. He just repeated again and again that patience is Christ. Eventually, I had to go back for dinner to the guest house where I was staying. When I returned, I did not eat well because I did not have the heart to eat. Then I went to my room. I knelt down and asked the Lord to tell me what Brother Nee meant by saying that patience is Christ. Eventually, during that time, the Lord opened my eyes to see that Christ is my patience. The real patience is not our behavior. The real patience is Christ living Himself out of us. This was a great help to me.

(The History of the Church and the Local Churches, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)