Further Talks on the Church Life, by Watchman Nee


Today I think that two ways are clearly set before us. If the Lord can really break through in our midst, the way we have taken for the past ten, twenty, or thirty years will be completely reversed. Our view cannot be the same as before; it has to be broken and crushed.

Not Leaving Anyone Out

First, you should not use a brother just because he is useful and leave him out if he is not useful. In the church no member should be left out. This is not the way taken by the Lord. Today, if the Lord is going to recover His testimony, He must make all the one-talented ones rise up. All who belong to the Lord are the members of the Body. Everyone must rise up and be in his function. If this is the case, you will see the church. While you are here on the mountain, consider every place. You almost have to say, “Where is the church? Where is Christ?’’ It seems that neither the church nor the Lord is there. When you go out, never despise the one-talented ones, never replace them, and never suppress them. You have to trust them from your heart. You have to cause them to work. If God has the assurance to call them to be servants, you too should have the assurance to call them to be servants.

Authority Dealing with the Flesh

Second, in the church we are not afraid of fleshly activities. Two lines are to be established in the church—one is authority and the other is gift. All the one-talented ones must come forth to serve, work, and bear fruit. You may ask, “If the one-talented ones come forth with their flesh, what shall we do?’’ Let me say that the flesh must be dealt with, and the way to deal with it is by using the authority which represents God.

Gift and authority are two entirely distinct things; gift is gift, and authority is authority. The one-talented ones must use their gift, and with those who are fleshly, you must use authority. If a brother brings in the flesh while he is working, you must tell him, “Brother, that will not do. You cannot bring that in.’’ Tell him, “This attitude is wrong. We do not allow you to have this attitude.’’ When you speak with him in this way, he will probably go home the next day and not do anything anymore. Then you will have to look him up and say, “No, you still should do the work.’’ The flesh may come in again, but you still must let him do the work. You must say to him again, “You must do this, but we will not allow you to do that.’’ Always use authority to deal with him.

This is the greatest test. Once the Lord uses the one-talented ones, their flesh will immediately be brought in. The flesh and the one talent are joined together. We must refuse the flesh, but we have to use that one talent. Today‘s situation is that we bury the flesh, they bury the one talent, and the church has nothing. This cannot be! We have to use authority to deal with the flesh, but we also have to ask them to bring forth their talent. Perhaps they will say, “If I work, it will not do, and if I do not work, it will not do either. So what shall I do?’’ You must say to them, “Indeed, if you work, it is wrong because you bring in the flesh; but if you do not work, it is also wrong because you bury the talent. The one talent must come in, but not the flesh.’’

In the church if the authority can be maintained and the functions of all the members brought in, you will see a glorious church on the earth, and the way of recovery will be easy. I do not know how many more days the Lord has set before us. I believe our way will be clearer and clearer. We need to use all our thought and all our strength so that all the brothers and sisters may rise up and serve. When that time comes, the church will be manifested and the Lord will return. May the Lord be merciful and gracious to us so that we may do the best.

(Further Talks on the Church Life, Chapter 5, by Watchman Nee)