In 1986 Brother Lee issued a clear call for all of the serving ones participating in the ministry and leadership among the churches in the Lord's recovery to be restricted in one publication. At the same time, he made it clear that we should not receive or reject any individual saint or local church based on whether or not they accept this practice.
Whether or not a certain church takes the ministry does not decide whether that church is a genuine local church. The title of this message does not say "no uncertain sounding of the trumpet in the Lord's recovery" but "in the Lord's ministry." I am not talking about something in the Lord's recovery, but I am talking about the ministry.... The ministry is altogether filled up with a fighting spirit. I do not control any church. All the saints who have left the denominations, the divisive sects, and stand on the proper ground are a local church in their locality. They can express their opinions, but they may have nothing to do with this ministry.
...I have to be faithful to the Lord, faithful to so many of you who have been very much affected by this ministry, and faithful to myself. For this reason, this ministry cannot allow anyone to pretend to be in it and yet still say something different. This does not mean that I ask you to stay away from your local church or that your local church is no longer a local church. What I am fellowshipping about is the impact of the ministry for the fighting of the Lord's interest in His recovery. ( Elders' Training, Book 7: One Accord for the Lord's Move , pp. 81-82)
Brother Lee spoke this word in response to problems that had arisen in the churches due to different teachings propagated by some who claimed to participate with him in the ministry. In doing so, he strongly testified that the practice of being restricted in one publication was the common practice in the Lord's recovery since Brother Watchman Nee was raised up in China.
One thing that has caused the Lord's recovery trouble is the fact that we have different publications. If we mean business for the Lord's recovery, we must avoid any kind of involvement in problems. When we were on mainland China, only Brother Nee had a publication, and the Gospel Room belonged solely and uniquely to him. He asked me to help in the publication work. I did write some books, among which were a book on the genealogy of Christ, a translation of part of Pember's Earth's Earliest Ages, and some books on the kingdom of the heavens. I never published anything by myself. I always mailed my manuscript to the Gospel Room, which was under Brother Nee and his helper. It was up to their discernment whether my manuscript should be published or not. I liked to have my writings checked as to whether there might be some inaccuracy in the truth.... We only had one publication. Everything was published through Brother Nee's Gospel Room because the publication is really the trumpeting. The sounding of our trumpet is not just in the verbal message but more in the publication. ( Elders' Training, Book 8: The Life-pulse of the Lord's Present Move , pp. 161-162)
We should not think that the principles our senior co-worker presented were applicable to that time only. Rather they represented what had been learned and practiced by those taking the lead in the ministry in the Lord's recovery over the preceding half century.
In 2005, as the co-workers in the Lord's recovery were considering how to face a similar rising tide of different teachings that were troubling the saints and the churches, they recalled how Brother Lee conducted himself in the ministry and how he had addressed the same issues two decades before. Out of much fellowship and prayer, the co-workers issued the statement Publication Work in the Lord's Recovery in June 2005, in which they reaffirmed their desire to continue in the practice of being restricted in one publication in the ministry in the Lord's recovery according to the pattern and principles established by Brother Nee and Brother Lee.
In the conclusion of that statement, the co-workers made it clear, as Brother Lee had before, that, while the one publication work in the Lord's recovery is essential to the health and even the continuation of the recovery, it "should not be insisted on" as a basis for fellowship with the saints or the churches:
Finally, all the churches and saints everywhere must understand that the matter of one publication is not a matter of the common faith but something related to the one ministry in the Lord's recovery. The ministry is the sounding of the trumpet among us in the Lord's recovery, and there should be no uncertain sounding of this trumpet, as Brother Lee has mentioned on a number of occasions. However, the one publication should not become the basis of our accepting or rejecting any persons in the communion of faith or in the fellowship of the churches; it should not be insisted on as an item of the faith. If any are not inclined to be restricted in one publication, these ones are still our brothers; they are still in the genuine local churches. ( Publication Work in the Lord's Recovery , p. 9)
Notwithstanding this attitude of generality, since the release of the co-workers' statement, a few have risen up to oppose it, not only dissenting about the need to be restricted in one publication, but also teaching differently from the New Testament ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee in other vital matters. This Web site is necessitated by this very public and sustained opposition to the co-workers' affirmation of Brother Lee's teaching and pattern for carrying out the work in the Lord's recovery in a blended way. Our hope is that this Web site will help to instruct, heal and inoculate those saints who may have been shaken by these questionings and to equip all of the saints to inoculate others against this dissenting speaking (1 Tim. 1:3-4; 6:3-4; 2 Tim. 2:1-3, 14-15, 23-26; 3:16-17).
To those ends it presents to the brothers and sisters in the Lord's recovery:
- Articles written by servings ones in DCP containing extensive answers to dissenting opinions;
- Contributions from saints not serving in DCP which provide additional insights and understanding;
- Copies of the statements of the co-workers reaffirming their intention to follow the biblical pattern and teaching the Lord has brought to us through the ministry of Brother Nee and Brother Lee; and
- Copies of correspondence sent both before and after the release of Publication Work in the Lord's Recovery demonstrating the co-workers' open fellowship and proper understanding of the principles and truths behind being restricted in one publication.
May the Lord have mercy on us all that we would take the way of practicing the oneness and the one accord to be preserved in His unique recovery for the building up of the Body of Christ in preparation for His soon return.
—Bill Buntain and Dan Sady
- All verse references and footnotes are from the Holy Bible Recovery Version, published by Living Stream Ministry.
- All books cited are publications of Living Stream Ministry unless otherwise noted.
- All books cited are from either The Collected Works of Watchman Nee or the published ministry of Witness Lee unless otherwise noted.
- Excerpts from the Recovery Version and the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee are copyrighted by Living Stream Ministry and are used by permission.
- Throughout this site menu items and buttons with grey backgrounds indicate pages that are under development and have not yet been deployed.
- Throughout this Web site, we have extensively cited passages from the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. We have done this because the dissenting ones claim to be following the divine revelation of the Bible as it has been opened up through these two servants of our Lord. We feel we should let our brothers speak for themselves through their printed ministry.