The Living Stream Ministry office is only a business office to serve my ministry for two things: to publish the messages in book form and to distribute these messages in both video and audio tapes. That is all the ministry office should do and nothing else. I did not have much time to check on everything related to the office in the past, but the ministry office has always had this specific function and no other function. This little office is a Levitical service serving my ministry to put out the word of God in print and through video and audio tapes.
Our going on should be according to what we have seen from the Word. There should not be any control, and the leadership is not in one controlling person. The teaching of the apostles must be the very leadership among us. We all must be under the teaching of the apostles. When I came to the United States, many brothers can testify that I never showed myself as a leader. The leading ones in the churches can testify that I never controlled any church or any saint. I never controlled anything, and I would never control anything. Rather, I would do as much as I can to withdraw from the so-called leadership. I do not mean that I am withdrawing from the Lord’s recovery. I have a burden from the Lord, and I must be faithful to Him and to His commission, His charge. But be assured that I will try the best to stay away from the leadership.
We all need to endeavor to speak the same thing by the Lord’s mercy and grace (l Cor. 1:10). There is absolutely no heresy among us. We do not have any basic problems among us, so it should be easy for us to avoid speaking differently and speak the same thing. Also, by His mercy, we do not have any organization. No one can control the local churches. No one can control anything because we do not have organization among us. I do not control, and the Living Stream office would not control. Mistakes may have been made in the past. But let us live in today and forget about yesterday. We do not even have tomorrow. We only have today in which to live. What happened yesterday is over. If anything was wrong in the past, we need the cleansing blood of Christ as the trespass offering. Past mistakes that have been confessed to the Lord are under the cleansing blood. We need to forget the past and go on. We should not even have any expectation about what will happen tomorrow. We do not need to worry about tomorrow. We live today. No one controls you. All the local churches have the full freedom to go on. As long as you do not do anything against our New Testament constitution, no one would bother you. Among us in the Lord’s recovery, there is nothing worth worrying about because basically we do not have any heresy or any kind of organizational control. Everyone in every church has the full freedom to go on. I hope that we would be so faithful and loyal to the Lord’s recovery. We should mean business with the Lord that the Lord’s recovery will be prevailing and even flourishing on this earth for the Lord’s purpose.
Concerning practices among us such as head covering, baptism, or preaching the gospel, we should let these things be as they are among the saints. If some of the sisters want to wear a head covering, let them do it. If others do not, give them the liberty. We should have this attitude with all the practices in the church life that are outside our common faith. If some feel that they are burdened to visit people for the gospel, let them do it. Those saints who are burdened to visit people for the gospel should not insist on this practice. We should try to avoid different kinds of terms, slogans, and sayings, and try our best to keep the oneness in the Lord’s recovery. We must avoid anything that damages the freedom of the saints or the oneness of the Body of Christ.
It is altogether wise and profitable that we do not expect all the churches to be the same. This is impossible. Even twelve brothers within a local church cannot be the same in everything. If a local church has a burden to visit people in their homes for the preaching of the gospel, they should carry out this commission. They do not need to say that others do not preach the gospel in this way. If others do not feel to preach the gospel by visiting people in their homes, that is not your business. Do not talk about who is for this or who is for that. We should not talk in this way. We should not label ourselves or label others. If we want to practice a certain thing, we can do it. If others do not want to practice it, they have the liberty not to practice it. We should not question who is for a certain thing and who is not for a certain thing. This does not help you or anyone else. We all must endeavor to keep the oneness of the Spirit so that the Body of Christ can build up itself in love (Eph. 4:3, 16).
(A Timely Word, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)