Instruction and Exhortation to the Trainees, by Witness Lee


First, the full-time training helps us to grow in life. Second, it enables us to grow in the knowledge of the truth concerning God and His eternal economy. This is to grow in life and in truth. In addition, the trainees will grow in their capacity and ability. This includes the skill, the gifts, and the function to do things for God. Although the training did not help us to obtain our capacity, it is helping us to grow in our capacity. To grow indicates that we have something already. But what we have has to be developed. We need the growth. Although we do already have an amount of spiritual, divine capacity, we have grown to some extent in our spiritual capacity since the training began less than a year ago. We must believe that we have made some growth in life, in truth, and in capacity. The fourth thing that the training affords us is to be transformed in our being, our character. We must be transformed in our character. We must grow in three things—life, truth, and capacity. We must be transformed in one item—character.


We must receive some amount of transformation in what we are in our character. Humanly speaking, our character may have been very much improved, but that is something false. What we need is transformation. How much have we been transformed in our character? The transformation of our character implies a lot. Whether we are too slow or too quick, humble or proud, patient or impatient is not a matter of conduct, but of what we are. What we are today becomes our character. We who love the Lord must be trained in the growth in life, the growth in truth, the growth in capacity, and in the transformation of our character.

We need to be transformed, for we cannot serve the Lord as Chinese, Japanese, Americans, or Europeans. No human beings can serve the Lord except those who have been transformed. Just to be regenerated is not adequate. We need regeneration plus transformation in order to serve. We must be transformed. How much transformation have we received? We may have picked up a lot of knowledge concerning what the Spirit is and what life is, but what about our being? We may have received a lot of knowledge from the training, but no transformation. We may have a great deal of knowledge and a certain amount of growth in life, yet without transformation we will surely cause trouble. All of the troubles come from our natural life. Turmoils and rebellion arise from our natural life. According to my knowledge and experience, every eight to ten years there is some kind of turmoil within the church life. Every turmoil comes from the natural life, the natural being. Only those who are transformed in what they are do not cause problems. If there were no Chinese, there would be no problem. With the Japanese it is the same. All the Japanese, the Chinese, the Americans, and the Koreans are troublemakers in the natural life. As long as we are American, we will cause trouble. The Californians and the Texans are all troublemakers. The white, the black, the brown, the yellow, and the red all make trouble. They have to be transformed. If this training is successful in life, in truth, and in enlarging our capacity, yet a failure in transforming our character, this training will have accomplished little. When we return to our locality, we may be troublemakers if our natural being has not been transformed. My main concern for this training is that eventually it may not have a good name. Some would say that every trainee that comes out of the full-time training is not that useful because they received a lot of knowledge and life but no transformation. They would argue that the knowledge and growth in life of the trainees merely equips them to make trouble. I hope that our future would not be as in the past in giving people the impression that whoever comes out of the training is qualified and equipped to make trouble.

(Instruction and Exhortation to the Trainees, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)