The Life for the Preaching of the High Gospel, by Witness Lee


When the Lord Jesus came the first time, there was a strong religion. With that religion there was, first, the holy land. Then, within the holy land, there was the holy city. Moreover, within that holy city, there was the holy temple in which was the Holy Bible. People there were worshipping and serving God according to the holy Scriptures in three holy things—in the holy temple, in the holy city, and in the holy land. In that kind of holy situation, the Lord Jesus came. Have you noticed that when the Lord Jesus came, He did not do anything according to those holy things? He did not bring people to the holy city or into the holy temple. Instead, Matthew tells us that when the Lord started His ministry, He went to "Galilee of the Gentiles" (Matt. 4:12, 15). He did not go into the temple and call some of the praying priests to follow Him. Instead, He went to the Sea of Galilee. There He saw some fishermen, and among them were Peter and Andrew. Further, He saw James and John mending their nets. So the Lord called the fishermen and the menders to follow Him (4:18-22). But He did not bring them into the holy temple to worship God. Rather, sometimes He brought them to the mountain and other times He brought them to the seashore. One time He gave Peter a lesson of faith by having him jump into the sea and walk on the water (14:28-29). Jesus did a lot of seemingly strange things outside of religion and against religion.

The Bible gives us a clear record, a picture, showing us how the religious people were zealous for God. Nevertheless, they were out-of-date. According to Luke there was an old sister, a prophetess, named Anna. She did not depart from the temple and was serving God with fastings and petitions night and day (Luke 2:36-37). She was absolutely for God. But for the actual carrying out of God’s new move on the earth, the Lord had to go to Peter, a young man who was fishing in the sea, not praying in the temple.

There was another one, an old brother in Jerusalem named Simeon, who "was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel" (Luke 2:25). Both Anna and Simeon were absolutely for the Lord, but the Lord did not call them to follow Him. Instead, He went to the Sea of Galilee to call Peter, Andrew, James, and John, who were all young people. They were not like the holy Anna, praying in the temple all day long, nor were they like the holy Simeon, teaching people according to the prophecy of the Bible. Yet the Lord called these Galilean fishers to follow Him. The old holy people, holding the holy Scriptures, were worshipping and serving in the holy temple, in the holy city, and in the holy land. But the Lord went to the seashore of Galilee of the Gentiles and called out two fishermen and two menders.

Brothers and sisters, today the situation is exactly the same as in that day. In today’s Christianity there are many holy things—holy cathedrals, holy services, and holy days. I am convinced that this is why the Lord is going to the beaches, the parks, the street corners, the parking lots, etc., to gain the young people. You may say these young people are hippies and are not holy, but the Lord says, "They are coming along with Me. They do not go along with you religious people. But they do go along with Me. I will never bring them into your religion. But I am bringing them back into the dominion of God. I don’t care whether they have long hair or short hair, whether they are shaved or unshaved, whether they have bare feet or have shoes. I care for only one thing, that is, whether they are in God’s dominion or not."

(The Life for the Preaching of the High Gospel, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)