The Divine Stream, by Witness Lee


The flowing of the divine life, which started on the day of Pentecost and has been flowing throughout all generations to this very day, is just one stream. Wherever it goes, wherever it flows, it is not many streams, it is only one. Read the book of Acts and there you will see that there is one stream, one current. This stream started from Jerusalem and flowed to Antioch, and from Antioch it turned to Asia and was flowing there. Then one day the Lord wanted the stream to strike forth into Europe, to Macedonia, but the Apostle who was working in the flowing of the stream was not clear about it. Eventually, however, he became clear that the flowing was striking forth from Asia to Europe, and he had to go along with it. It is a familiar story. From Macedonia the stream went in its path to Corinth, to Rome, to Spain, and to all parts of Europe. History tells us that from Europe it flowed to the West, to America; and from the West it flowed to the East and to the South. In reading the history of the church we find that this flowing stream has never been stopped, and we notice that everywhere this stream flowed, it was just one. It was one in Jerusalem, one to Antioch, one to Asia, one to Europe, and one everywhere it has flowed. Please be clear that there have never been two streams. There is only one stream, and you have to keep yourself in this one stream.

If you read the Acts and the Epistles written by the Apostle Paul, you will see that quite a number of people at that time who were preaching the Gospel and working for the Lord were not in the stream. According to the record of the Scripture, they were not in the stream. For instance, in the first chapter of Philippians the Apostle tells us that there were some who preached the Gospel because of envy. They were preaching the Gospel, but they were not working together with the Apostle. Although they preached the Gospel, they were not in the one stream of the Holy Spirit. In the book of Acts you can find another example. Consider Barnabas. At the beginning Barnabas was working with the Apostle Paul. Both were in the one stream. But after a certain time, Barnabas for some reason would not agree to go along with the Apostle Paul. The two were divided. Do you find any record in the Acts of Barnabas after that division? No! He was out of the stream. He was still working for the Lord, but he was out of the stream. Are you clear about this matter? If you study carefully the history of the church, you will find that throughout the generations there has been one stream of the Holy Spirit flowing all the time. Many have been working for the Lord, but not all have been in the flowing of that one stream. If you will accept the mercy and the grace of the Lord, you will be brought into that very stream that is flowing today.

At this point I would like to offer a personal testimony on this matter. In 1933 I went from North China to Shanghai for the first time in order to visit Brother Watchman Nee. I stayed with him there for several months. When I was about to leave to return to my home city in North China, Brother Nee came to me and said: "Brother Lee, we feel it is the Lord’s mind that you move your family to Shanghai and stay with us for the Lord’s work. Would you bring this matter to the Lord?" When I went to the Lord with this matter, I received the light. The Lord showed me that in the book of Acts the current of the Lord’s work, the stream of the Holy Spirit, is one. He showed me that in the Acts there was only one line on the map, starting from Jerusalem and running to Antioch, from there to Asia, and from there to Europe. I saw that there never have been two streams, but always one. I said to the Lord: "Lord, I thank Thee. There can never be two streams of Your work in China. If there is something done for You or by You or through You in North China, it must first be that I go to Shanghai to be mingled together in the one stream, in order that out from there something will flow forth to North China. Thus there will be one stream." On the very next day Brother Nee came to see me. I said to him: "Brother, I am clear about this matter. I must do what you suggest. From this day I am working with you in Shanghai."

From that time, what a flowing there has been! I can never tell you how rich and how wonderful it is. It is all because I moved into the flowing of the stream at that very time. Oh, the light of the Scripture has flowed as a tide! The life, the power, the energy, and the authority have flowed into me. Wherever I have gone, I have not gone on my own. I have been just as a boat in the current; wherever the current has gone, I have been carried on. It has been so easy. It has not been my strength, my energy, or my endurance; it has been the flowing of the stream. From that time, the Lord has been gradually showing me the flowing of the life, the flowing of the work, the flowing of the testimony, and the flowing of the fellowship of the Body.

(The Divine Stream, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)