THE PERFECTING OF ALL THE SAINTS
In our serving together with the brothers and sisters, we have to spend time with them to learn together and to practice together with them. Moreover, we have to learn to pass on everything to the saints in a systematic way. We should be a person who is living before the Lord, and we should produce men instead of merely producing works. The church is like a hospital; not only should the sick ones receive treatment there, but the hospital itself should perfect the doctors and nurses. The church is also like a school, where not only students receive their education, but teachers are perfected. The church is also like a factory. Not only does it manufacture goods, but it produces apprentices as well. Again, the church is like a family. Under the love of the family, the children are nurtured, taught, and caused to grow. In this way, the saints are raised up and educated in the church, and eventually they will graduate to become "doctors" to take care of others. By that time, when God gives the leading and the direction, some will be able to go to migrate for the gospel’s sake. This will put everything and everyone into use. Since we are clear about the Lord’s way, we should go on faithfully today.
THE INNER SENSE
Concerning the inner sense, what we have to pay attention to is not the sense itself, but to have our hearts turn to the Lord, to love Him, and to look to Him. Whatever the first feeling is, we should go along with it and should not analyze. When I talk with others, I am bothered when their eyeballs begin to turn. This means that such a person is turning things around in his mind. Do not analyze the feelings. If you consciously try to remember which foot you should put forward first when you walk, you will never walk. God’s life is living. We need to reject all outside voices and the so-called lights, and we should pay attention to the inner feeling and the anointing.
MINISTRY AND GIFT
We have to be clear concerning the difference between ministry and gift. Ministry is the result of life, and gift is something that the Holy Spirit gives spontaneously. First Corinthians speaks of the service that comes by the gifts, whereas 2 Corinthians speaks of the service that comes by the ministry of life. The gospel, revival, and life—all these three things are for the producing of the ministry. George Müller, Mrs. Penn-Lewis, and many others have an obvious portion of supply. Hence, they have the ministry.
Our work is the result of our fellowship with the Lord. If we experience life, we will produce the works. There is only one life of Christ, but its expressions are varied. There is only one life in the body, but there are the eyes, the ears, and the different organs. There is only one circulation of blood in the body, but when this same blood flows to all the different members, the functions manifested in the members are different. Today, it seems that God is no longer raising up spiritual giants. Instead, He is raising up every brother and sister to do the work. During the past years, among us the number of full-time serving ones has not increased. On the contrary, some have dropped out. At the same time that this is happening, we see many saints serving the Lord faithfully in their jobs. This is like building a house; in order to build a house, there is the need, on the one hand, for foremen and architects, and there is the need, on the other hand, for all kinds of materials to be assembled together.
If I pass on these things to you as mere teachings, I would be very pitiful indeed. What I am doing here is to show you a way. To those who want to go on in this way, this is reality. To those who do not want to go on, this is dead teaching.
NOT LEAVING THE FIRST LOVE
One of the most serious things mentioned in the seven epistles in Revelation is the leaving of the first love. This was the starting point of the church’s degradation. When we come to the last church, the Lord was shut outside its door. Between these two points, many things took place; the main lesson they teach us is that the church’s attention was drawn to the things and the works instead of to the Lord. Among the many things, some involved errors in doctrines, whereas others involved sins. But the real failure underlying all these things is that the heart has departed from the Lord.
FOLLOWING THE FLOW OF THE SPIRIT
God’s way is forever onward. Although men may frustrate Him, they will not be able to stop Him from going on. In every age, He does a unique work that is not repeated in other ages. He is always going on. There can be only one George Müller in history, and there can be only one D. L. Moody. Even if others try to imitate what these ones did, they cannot do it.
TOUCHING THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATER
What we need to do today is to touch the living fountain. Once we touch the fountain, we will never exhaust our speaking. I used to love to read writings of men from the past. But when I took their sermons and repeated them, it took only a few times before I would exhaust the subject. Later I was connected to the fountain of life. From then on, my speaking became exhaustless. The teachings of many Western missionaries are like the sofa chair; they are comfortable to sit on, but they are too soft. Some brothers are like a concrete wall; when you meet them, they make you feel uncomfortable, yet they render much help to you.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 35, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)