The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, by Witness Lee

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In the past centuries the Lord has not fully obtained what He has desired. In our youth we realized this and became burdened. We had received a revelation from the entire Bible, and we could not deny that the Lord had shown us something. However, at that time we were not able to carry out what the Lord had shown us. In the early 1960s I came to the United States and was burdened by the Lord to stay here to minister and release the truth. For several years I visited many places to contact the seeking ones. The Lord honored this, and the churches began to be raised up. I then realized that we should have conferences and trainings to release the truth from the Holy Word consecutively, and from 1974 until the present time we have had two trainings annually.

After we finished the life-study of the New Testament in 1984, I felt that we needed to see the Lord’s new way to meet and serve in the church. By this time our situation and practice in the church had become stale, and we were at a standstill. We studied our situation and felt that we needed a training so that a group of saints could rise up to take the God-ordained way for the church. In February of 1986 we had an urgent meeting with the co-workers and elders in which I presented my feeling concerning our need. We were burdened to “sound the trumpet” to call some volunteers to fight for the people of God. We did not expect that all the saints in the Lord’s recovery would take the new way, and we did not feel that those who would not take this way were no longer a part of the church. Whether one takes this way or not, he is still in the church. We only asked that those who did not take this way would not criticize or oppose it.

From the very beginning of the Lord’s recovery among us, Brother Nee realized that there was the need for a training, but whenever he would begin a training, the enemy would come in to attack. In 1936 Brother Nee built a house in a suburb of Shanghai in order to have a training there. However, immediately after the completion of this house, Japan invaded China and the house was destroyed. When Brother Nee tried again to have a training in the early 1940s, the enemy attacked again and a turmoil arose in the church in Shanghai. This caused Brother Nee to suspend his ministry for six years. In 1948 Brother Nee resumed his ministry and held a training in his home town for two terms. At this time, however, the communists came in, terminated the training, and confiscated the buildings used for it. In Taipei we started to have a training for the new way in August of 1986. Only after a little over one and a half months, the criticizing of the training by a visitor began. Later, the criticizing spread to other countries, even to the U. S. A., and went up to opposing, and the opposing went up to attacking. Eventually the attacking went up to destroying. The training became a target for the enemy’s attack because this kind of training is a crucial factor for the defeat of the enemy. I am grateful to the Lord that He has burdened me to carry out the training in the Lord’s recovery.

A training in the Lord’s recovery is very crucial, and we must bear the burden to pray for it. Without a training the church cannot be prevailing. Because of the training, a number of saints who have been in the church life for only a short time have been growing quickly. Without a training, however, we may all be common Christians, simply attending the meetings year after year. To be trained makes a great difference in our Christian life. After a few months of training we will never be the same. The regular church meetings help us only in a general way. The training, however, helps us in particular ways. To be trained is to become more useful in the Lord’s hands.

The Church as the Army Being Trained to Fight for the Kingdom

The Bible likens the church to an army (Eph. 6:11-20; Rev. 19:14), and an army is formed with soldiers. Without training the soldiers could not be formed into an army. The enemies of a country always hate to see that country build up an army. Satan hates the church as the army. Because of this, it has been a struggle to have a training in the Lord’s recovery.

The Lord’s move on the earth is for the purpose of establishing His kingdom. In order to establish a kingdom there is the need of fighting. After being trained, we become the fighting ones, the “soldiers” to fight for God’s kingdom. According to the book of Numbers, Israel was formed into an army in order for God to establish the kingdom in the good land (Num. 1:2-3, 45). Without the formation of the army, the kingdom could not be established. The fighting of the Israelites brought in God’s kingdom.

If possible, all the college graduates among us, both brothers and sisters, should not take a job immediately after their graduation. They should rather spend one or two years to be trained and then find a job. Whoever will be trained in this way will be a soldier. Some countries practice to train their young people in the military service after their graduation. After their training, the young people can find a job, but when the country has the need, all the trained ones can be recalled and formed into an army.

(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 31, by Witness Lee)