5. THE TESTIMONY OF A WESTERN MISSIONARY
Elizabeth P. Rademacher was a missionary in Shanghai during World War II and now serves the Lord in the church in Huntington Beach, California, U.S.A. The following is her testimony regarding Watchman Nee:
Forty-eight years have elapsed since I last saw Watchman Nee. It was February 1943, and America was at war with Japan. Most foreigners living in the International Settlement in Shanghai, China, were under the jurisdiction of the Japanese. Just the evening before I was interned along with many other Americans (my co-workers were British), through our gate came Watchman Nee, unannounced, as was his custom when visiting us four Westerners. After sharing some refreshments and enjoying some sweet fellowship, he handed me a small unlabeled bottle of highly concentrated vitamins produced at CBC Laboratories with the instruction: "Take half a drop a day." What forethought and concern for a little sister about to be confined for an undetermined period of time!
When I first heard the name Watchman Nee in 1934, I knew nothing about him. I pictured an aged man with a flowing white beard! Little did I realize that he wasn’t much older than I—probably at that time about thirty. Several years later I saw him for the first time at Hardoon Road, where, with an older missionary, I sometimes attended the Lord’s table and special meetings.
The Spirit’s Indwelling
At the beginning of 1938, Watchman Nee conducted a Bible study with the church in Shanghai on the Holy Spirit. Having had a Pentecostal background, I was somewhat confused and disillusioned. I desired to hear what he had to say, hoping to receive help on a number of puzzling questions. For example, why were there inconsistencies in the lives of so many who professedly had received the outpoured Spirit with manifestations? Where was the godly living? Why did I live a defeated life?
The word the Lord spoke to me through Watchman Nee made a revolutionary impact on my life. The evening I heard him say that Jesus became the Spirit to dwell in us, light dawned. Before, the Lord had seemed so far removed from me; now He was real within. This solved my basic problem. I could now locate Him within my being. I saw further that the work of the Holy Spirit is twofold. There is the outward aspect with gifts and manifestations; but more important still, there is the inward aspect—the infilling that transforms lives.
He used a helpful illustration which made an indelible impression: If a heavily loaded vehicle is run without adequate air in the tires, it is possible that the car will be wrecked. This is an apt picture of one who experiences many outpourings of the Spirit without having a commensurate work of the Spirit within. I thanked God I had not become a wreck. Now I understood why so many I had been acquainted with in the past had wound up bringing disgrace to the Lord’s name.
On another occasion he gave his testimony concerning the girl he had loved and given up for the Lord. He quoted Psalm 73:25: "Whom have I in heaven but thee? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee," and testified that this had become his reality. This testimony amazed me. I had never heard or met anyone who could honestly make such a statement.
(Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)