The God-ordained Way to Gain the Increase for the Church
vs. the Worldly Ways of Degraded Christianity
As branches of Christ, the universal vine tree in God's economy (John 15:1), every believer bears the responsibility to bear fruit (John 15:16, 4-6). Furthermore, it is the nature of the divine life within us to seek increase for the glorification of the Father (John 15:8). In the Lord's recovery we have long recognized that the most fruitful field is the young people, including college students and our own children.
John 15:1 - I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman.
John 15:16 - You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and I set you that you should go forth and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you.
John 15:4-6 -  Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.  If one does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is dried up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
John 15:8 - In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so you will become My disciples.
On the other hand we also bear the responsibility before the Lord to bear His testimony (Acts 1:8; 26:16; Rev. 1:2. 9). To do this, we must walk on the constricted way of life (Matt. 7:14), lest the Lord disapprove our works at His judgment seat (Matt. 7:21-23; 1 Cor. 3:12-15). This means that we are restricted in the means we employ to bear fruit. We cannot use worldly ways. Instead we are restricted to the God-ordained way revealed in the Bible of fruit-bearing as the overflow of the divine life by means of prayer, the Spirit, and the Word (Acts 1:18; 4:31; 6:4; 8:4).
Acts 1:8 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 26:16 - But rise up and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a minister and a witness both of the things in which you have seen Me and of the things in which I will appear to you.
Rev. 1:2 - Who testified the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, even all that he saw.
Rev. 1:9 - I John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and endurance in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
Matt. 7:14 - Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way that leads to life, and few are those who find it.
Matt. 7:21-23 -  Not every one who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he who does the will of My Father who is in the heavens.  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, was it not in Your name that we prophesied, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name did many works of power?  And then I will declare to them: I never 1knew you. Depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.
fn. 7:23 1 - Knew here means approved. The same word in Rom. 7:15 is translated acknowledge. The Lord never approved those who, in His name, prophesied, cast out demons, and did many works of power (v. 22), but did those things not according to the will of the heavenly Father (v. 21). The Lord did not deny that they did those things, but He considered those things lawlessness because they were not done according to the will of the heavenly Father; they were not done in line with the divine will. Thus, those who do such things, even in the Lord's name, will not enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but will depart from the Lord, that is, be excluded from the manifestation of the kingdom in the coming age.
1 Cor. 3:12-15 -  But if anyone builds upon the foundation 2gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, stubble,  The work of each will become manifest; for the day will declare it, because it is revealed by 2fire, and the fire itself will prove each one's work, of what sort it is.  If anyone's work which he has built upon the foundation remains, he will receive a reward;  if anyone's work is consumed, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
fn. 3:12 2 - Gold, silver, and precious stones signify the various experiences of Christ in the virtues and attributes of the Triune God. It is with these that the apostles and all spiritual believers build the church on the unique foundation of Christ. Gold may signify the divine nature of the Father with all its attributes, silver may signify the redeeming Christ with all the virtues and attributes of His person and work, and precious stones may signify the transforming work of the Spirit with all its attributes. All these precious materials are the products of our participation in and enjoyment of Christ in our spirit through the Holy Spirit. Only these are good for God's building....
fn. 3:13 2 - The fire of the Lord's judgment (Mal. 3:2; 4:1; 2 Thes. 1:7b-8; Heb. 6:8), which will cause each believer's work to be manifest and will try and test his work. All the work of wood, grass, and stubble will be unable to stand that test and will be burned.
Acts 1:8 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 4:31 - And when they had so besought, the place in which they were gathered was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
Acts 6:4 - But we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word.
Acts 8:4 - Those therefore who were scattered went throughout the land announcing the word as the gospel.
Both Brother Nee and Brother Lee made this very clear:
The wisdom of the world declares that "the end justifies the means," but it is never so in the spiritual realm. Our end must be spiritual, but our means must be spiritual too. The cross is no mere symbol; it is a fact and a principle which must govern all God's work. ( The Collected Works of Watchman Nee, vol. 30 , pp. 156-157)
What is our burden? What is our responsibility? We must not just preach the gospel. We must bear the testimony of Jesus, as Revelation says (1:2, 9). We must be witnesses to Him, as Acts 1:8 tells us. We must bring forth fruit by abiding in Him, as John 15:5 and 16 tell us. This is the proper preaching of the gospel. There is no need to use any gimmicks. We must lay our gimmicks aside, just as Paul determined not to use excellence of speech. Our responsibility is to live Christ, to bear a living witness to Him in our daily life, to know nothing but Christ, the all-inclusive One revealed in the completing ministry of Paul and the mending ministry of John. ( The World Situation and God's Move , p. 82)
Our gospel ministry is governed by the pattern established in the New Testament, particularly by the apostle Paul. In 2 Corinthians 4 Paul testified that he and his co-workers conducted themselves so that the gospel of the glory of Christ would shine out through them (2 Cor. 4:6) by the manifestation of the truth (2 Cor. 4:2), which is simply the very Christ as the embodiment of the Triune God who had been wrought into them. In doing so, they lived a life under the termination of the cross of Christ for the manifestation of resurrection life (2 Cor. 4:10-12).
2 Cor. 4:6 - Because the God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts to 4illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
fn. 4:6 4 - The illumination here, which refers to the shining of God's light on others out from those whose hearts have been enlightened by God, corresponds with the manifestation in v. 2 and is the same as the shining in Matt. 5:16 and Phil. 2:15. God shines in our hearts that we may shine on others so that they may have the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, that is, the knowledge of Christ, who expresses and declares God (John 1:18).
2 Cor. 4:2 - But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of the 2truth commending ourselves to every conscience of men before God.
fn. 4:2 2- The truth is another expression for the word of God (John 17:17 and notes). It means the reality, denoting all the real things revealed in God's word, which are mainly Christ as the reality of all the things of God. The manifestation of the truth refers to the apostles' living of Christ. When they lived Christ, who is the truth (John 14:6), they manifested the truth. As Christ was lived out of them, the truth was manifested in them. By this, they commended themselves to every conscience of men before God. The apostles behaved themselves not in the way of adulterating the word of God but in the way of manifesting the truth for the shining of the gospel of the glory of Christ, by the excellent power of the priceless treasure, the very Christ who entered into them and became their content (v. 7) through the enlightenment of God's shining (v. 6).
2 Cor. 4:10-12 -  Always bearing about in the body the putting to death of Jesus that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.  For we who are alive are always being delivered unto death for Jesus' sake that the life of 1Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  So then death operates in us, but 1life in you.
fn. 4:11 1 - The title Jesus in these two verses implies that the apostles lived a life like the one the Lord Jesus lived on earth. The Lord's life was a life under the killing of the cross for the manifestation of the resurrection life, a life lived in such a way that His person was one with His ministry and His life was His ministry (John 6:14-15; 12:13, 19, 23-24).
fn. 4:12 1 - When we are under the killing of the Lord's death, His resurrection life is imparted through us into others. The impartation of life into others is always the issue of our suffering the killing of the cross.
Recently some among the churches have been promoting a very different way. Instead of relying simply and purely on the Lord by cooperating with Him to be constituted with the Word of God and by praying to be filled with the Spirit essentially and economically, they have resorted to worldly gimmicks to attract the young people, gimmicks that include the use of rock bands, dramas, celebrity speakers, and other forms of entertainment. This mixture is absolutely contrary to the pattern of how the apostles labored to spread the gospel in the New Testament and the pattern presented to us through the ministry and work of Brothers Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. As such, it is absolutely foreign to the Lord's recovery. Even more seriously, by bringing worldliness into the church, it offends the holy nature of our Father (1 John 2:15) and leads the young people away from the intrinsic nature of the Lord's recovery. In doing so it threatens to change the nature of the churches that practice these things into just another work of Christianity. It is also immensely damaging to the young people of the saints in the Lord's recovery who are being polluted with such things. (See also, " An Appeal to the Young People in the Lord's Recovery—Do Not Be Cheated From Your Inheritance!" on this Website.)
1 John 2:15 - Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
There is not much need for us to write more on this subject, since both the biblical, God-ordained way to preach the gospel and the damage caused by using gimmicks such as rock music and dramas to carry out the church's gospel service have been thoroughly presented in Brother Lee's speaking. For that reason, we present the following excerpts for your consideration:
Prayer, the Spirit, and the Word Are the Unique Way to Preach the Gospel
In Acts the three main factors for the spreading of the gospel as an impact were prayer, the Spirit, and the Word. According to the Bible and according to history these three items are the only way for the gospel to be prevailing. ( Elders' Training, Book 7: One Accord for the Lord's Move , p. 11)
The book of Acts begins with the one accord and stresses the one accord. The early disciples could not have maintained or kept this one accord, however, if they had had different ways, means, agents, or substances for them to carry out the Lord's move on this earth. If we read through the entire book of Acts, we can see that the way they took to carry out God's move on this earth to fulfill His New Testament economy was entirely by three main substances-prayer, the Spirit, and the Word. Not only in Acts but also throughout the entire New Testament, prayer, the Spirit, and the Word were used for the carrying out of God's economy.... If we have different ways to do things, it is hard to keep the one accord. In order to maintain the unique one accord we all have to learn to do the same thing by the same way. The substances which constitute the unique way for the Lord's move are prayer and the Spirit, which result in the Word. ( Elders' Training, Book 7: One Accord for the Lord's Move , p. 21)
We should not trust in anything other than prayer, the Word, and the Spirit. Perhaps a certain professor will be able to give a message concerning science in order to convince students of science to believe in God. Although there is nothing wrong with this, we should not put our trust in it. On the contrary, we should put our trust wholly and absolutely in prayer, in the Word, and in the anointing, which is the Triune God Himself.
PAUL'S DIRECT SPEAKING OF THE WORD
In the book of Acts we see that the Apostle Paul did not use gimmicks in preaching the gospel. Rather, "he proclaimed Jesus, that this One is the Son of God" (9:20). When Saul was in Damascus, he was "empowered and confounded the Jews dwelling in Damascus, proving that this One is the Christ" (9:22). In a foregoing message we emphasized the fact that in Thessalonica Paul reasoned with those in the synagogue from the Scriptures concerning Christ and saying, "This is the Christ, Jesus, whom I announce to you" (17:2-3). Likewise, we have seen that in Corinth Paul solemnly testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ (18:5). Therefore, instead of using gimmicks, Paul always spoke the word directly.
YOUNG SAINTS PREACHING WITH POWER
Perhaps you would say, "Brother Lee, you have been in the Word for over fifty years. How can we be powerful in preaching the gospel if we are still young in the Lord?" Let me testify to you that even when I was young my speaking was powerful because of these three matters of prayer, the Word, and the Spirit, the anointing. This indicates that even the young saints can preach the gospel with power and impact if they trust in prayer, the Word, and the Spirit. ( Life-study of Acts , pp. 430-431)
...As we seek to have power and impact in our gospel preaching, we should not follow any strange or peculiar way. Let us take the way of prayer, the way of the Word, and the way of the Spirit.
We believe that today the Lord is the processed Spirit who dwells in us and also upon us. It does not matter whether this Spirit is sensed by us. We believe that while we are serving Him and speaking for Him, especially as we are speaking Him forth, He is with us. We have the Lord's presence within us as the anointing. Through prayer, the Word, and the Spirit, we can have true power and impact. ( Life-study of Acts , p. 428)
If the scriptural way to meet and the sound teaching of the Bible have been neglected, what is left? Only gospel preaching. Yet much of today's preaching of the gospel is of the lowest standard. No doubt many of you have read the biographies of the great evangelists of the past. There were C. H. Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, Charles Finney, and George Whitefield. They used no gimmicks in their preaching. Their way was to pray. I read that once Charles Finney went into a factory and looked at the workers there. Just by his looking at them, a number of the workers wept and repented. What was the power behind these preachers? It was prayer. It was the spending of time in the Word of God, learning the Scriptures, and then selecting a subject from which to preach the gospel. This is the proper way.
Even those who play guitars in the meetings must be careful lest they offend the Lord. The Lord Jesus did not promise that if we play the guitar well, people would be saved. He said that we would be clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). The proper preaching comes from this power. Those who are concerned about the gospel need to fast and to pray desperately. ( The World Situation and God's Move , p. 36)
We Should Preach the Gospel in Spirit, by Prayer, and with Eagerness
Preaching the gospel depends on our spirit. Paul said that he served God in the spirit in the gospel of His Son. When we preach the gospel, we should not employ any gimmicks; we should exercise our spirit. ( Life-study of Romans , p. 23)
If we mean business with the Lord in this matter of gospel preaching, we must exercise these three things: in spirit, by prayer, and with eagerness. Gimmicks and techniques will not be effective. We all need to exercise our spirit to touch people, to pray, and to be ready with eagerness. If the gospel does not inspire you, it will never inspire others. If the gospel cannot convince you, it will never convince others. If you yourself do not weep with the gospel, no one else will repent. If you weep, others will weep in repentance. ( Life-study of Romans , p. 24)
Fruitfulness on the Campuses Requires Prayer, the Word, and Our Homes
If we have a burden for preaching the gospel, we must take care of three things. First, we have to pray; second, we have to speak the word; and third, we have to use our homes. We should be aggressive and active in the Spirit for the spread of the gospel. We can fill each city with our gospel tracts and speaking. We can also fill our homes up with young people. We do not need any gimmicks, but we must have two basic things-prayer and the word-with the additional help of our homes. We must follow the early apostles and disciples by taking the way of prayer, the word, and the homes for the preaching of the gospel. ( Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses , p. 28)
Power in Preaching the Gospel Depends on the Exercise of Faith
Some of you may have been saved for less than a year. You may think that you are too young, that you do not know very much, and that you do not have much experience in life. Do not listen to these thoughts. You have to reject them. I have seen many newly saved ones who were bold, strong, and powerful in the preaching of the gospel. I have also seen ones who became old in their experience of the Lord. When they preached the gospel, they did not have any power. Then they turned to gimmicks and exercised their cleverness to convince people. You do not need to use crafty words. As long as you are in the Spirit, you should be frank and strict with your words.
Once in my hometown, someone came to me and said, "Brother Lee, your gospel preaching is very good, but you should not be so frank and strict in your speaking." I told him that although he was nice in his gospel preaching, he had not brought many people to the Lord. Should I have learned from him? I may not have seemed nice in my gospel preaching, but I brought many people to the Lord. The effectiveness of the gospel is not a matter of being nice and crafty or even frank and bold. It is a matter of power. Those who exercise their faith to preach the gospel in the baptism in the Spirit have power. Today the power is in your faith and your faith has a base, a ground, and a standing. The base is the Bible. First Corinthians 12:13 says, "In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body." We do not need to use any gimmicks when we preach the gospel. We should just exercise our faith to apply the word of the truth which says that we have been baptized in the Spirit. ( Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses , pp. 12-13)
We all have to be rescued from the concept that we need gimmicks. This thought has to go. We do not need any gimmicks like rock music, movies, or dramas. The demons are not afraid of gimmicks. The demons are afraid of our faith. If we exercise our faith, we will have the power to preach the gospel. ( Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses , p. 13)
The Lord's Testimony Is Borne by a Transformed Humanity
Today for the testimony of Christ we also need poles made of acacia wood. Some Christians, however, resort to the use of rock music and dramas for preaching the gospel. But the Lord's testimony is not carried by such a means. Rather, it is borne by our transformed humanity with its high character and standard. This humanity is the strength for the move of Christ as the embodiment of God's testimony. ( Life-study of Exodus , p. 1004)
We must be careful to use only the proper means to carry the Lord's testimony today. If you look at certain popular Christian publications, you will see that "carts" drawn by "cattle" are still being used to carry the Lord's testimony. In fact, even worse means are used. Is the Lord's recovery to be carried on by such things? Certainly not! The proper way is to have a direct connection with the Lord Jesus. We must bear Christ upon our shoulders. This means that there should not be any distance between us and Him. If we would bear Him as God's testimony, we should be one with Him.
Paul spread the testimony of Jesus by speaking and by writing. He did not use any gimmicks. He carried the testimony by his living. Likewise, the testimony of the Lord must be one with us today. This means that our living should be the carrying of the testimony. As we live Christ, we bear Him wherever we go. ( Life-study of Exodus , pp. 1005-1006)
Using Different Methods Causes Damage to the One Accord
To maintain the one accord we must take one way for our driving. If we have different ways to drive surely our one accord will be somewhat damaged. In the New Testament there is only this one unique way constituted with these three substances-prayer, the Spirit, and the Word. ( Elders' Training, Book 7: One Accord for the Lord's Move , p. 27)
Suppose a brother would propose that we use a certain kind of music to preach the gospel. Some may feel good about this but others may not. No one, however, would have different opinions concerning prayer, concerning the Spirit, and concerning taking the Word and preaching the Word. This is the unique way everybody knows because this is God's ordained way. This is not the way I invented or taught, but the way God invented and ordained in the Bible. We need to take this principle in all our practices. Try the best to always limit and restrict your practice by the Word. Whatever the Word does not say, it is better not to take. To preach the gospel by any way other than prayer, the Spirit, and the Word may cause some different thinking.
People would take another way because they do not want to spend that much time in the Word. To take other ways besides prayer, the Word, and the Spirit are short-cut ways for the sake of convenience. We cannot be entirely successful by taking a short-cut way. The genuine way, the proper way, the most profitable way to take is the unique way. The unique way in doing anything is God's ordained principle. The entire universe is full of principles set up by God, the Creator. If you are going to be married, you must take God's ordained way with the principle of marriage of one husband and one wife (Matt. 19:3-9). If you take a short-cut way, you will get in trouble. In our world and in the universe there are many God-ordained principles. Science actually discovers all these God-ordained principles.
To use other ways to preach the gospel or to carry the church on might be profitable, but that is the short-cut way. The short-cut way will always have some side effects. Only the proper way will never have any side effects. The best medical doctors are careful not to release any medicine that may have harmful side effects. Therefore, we should not use anything other than prayer, the Word, and the Spirit to carry on the gospel or the church life. Otherwise, we should be prepared for some side effects like dissension, which will damage the real one accord.
TOILING IN THE WORD, LABORING IN PRAYER,
AND BEING DILIGENT IN DEALING WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
It may seem very awkward to take the genuine way. It takes time and patience; we have to labor and toil. Let us toil in the Word, labor in prayer, and be diligent in dealing with the Holy Spirit. This is worthwhile. We have to spend much time to get into the Word; we have to get ourselves saturated, constituted, and even soaked with the holy Word. We must also get ourselves constituted with our contact with the Lord. We have to contact Him day by day and hour after hour; then we will be the right person. ( Elders' Training, Book 7: One Accord for the Lord's Move , p. 28-29)
... I am challenging you to get into the Word. Take the unique way of prayer, the Spirit, and the Word. Do not think of anything else and do not use any gimmicks. Get yourself constituted, qualified, and equipped. Then go out in your prayer with the Spirit presenting the Word.... Do not think of taking a way other than prayer, the Spirit, and the Word. Any other way will cause dissension and division. ( Elders' Training, Book 7: One Accord for the Lord's Move , p. 33)
Our Way Is to Preach the Pure Word of God
Other groups of Christians use natural and worldly ways to attract people. They use the ways of being social, of rock music, and of choirs with colorful robes. They use these ways to gain people, but we cannot use these ways. When people get saved and come into our meeting, they hear the pure word of God. ( The Christian Life , p. 58)
Using Gimmicks in Our Meetings Is Against the Lord's Way
The Lord is also going to recover the proper way of meeting. How are we to determine if our way of meeting is scriptural? While no one can say that our meetings are unscriptural, it is hard to say what is the scriptural way to meet. We have published a book called How to Meet . If you read it, however, you will still be puzzled as to the proper way to meet. But I do know that dancing or rock music or drama in the meetings are wrong. Having soloists is wrong. These things are not only wrong, they are against the Lord's way. The Lord is still recovering the proper way to meet. ( The World Situation and God's Move, p. 38)
The Use of Rock Music Does Not Match the Constricted Way of the Divine Life
We all are happy to be in the Lord's recovery and appreciate the recovery very much. But let me ask you this question: As one in the Lord's recovery, are you walking on the constricted way? We all must be able to say that we are not taking the way of Christianity, but the way of constriction. We are constricted on every side. Those in Christianity can use rock music or other worldly methods in their services, but we cannot, because our way is constricted. ( Life-study of Matthew , p. 298)
...According to the divine nature within us, we cannot use rock music in our meetings. Although you may try various worldly methods, the divine nature would disagree with them all and indicate that you are transgressing the lines. All those who are the kingdom people, all those who have been regenerated by the Father, have His life and nature within them. The Father's life and nature indicate whether or not we are in the constricted way. Let us all run the race according to the Father's nature.( Life-study of Matthew , p. 306)
Use of Worldly Means Is Impure and Is Leaven
Dear saints, this is a vital group. This is what I have seen of the Lord. This is what I expect to see-that all you dear ones who are in the recovery would be this kind of persons. We are going to gain people not by rock music or by some other impure method. We are going to gain people by purely speaking Christ, speaking grace, speaking God, to everyone. In a certain sense, we should not care whether or not someone understands us or apprehends what we are saying. We should just care for speaking, for flowing rivers of living water all the time. ( The Training and Practice of the Vital Groups , pp. 120-121)
...So many things in Christianity are leaven. These include Christmas, Easter, idols, pictures, images, rock music, drama, and the entire Y.M.C.A. system. We must be careful not to take anything other than Christ for God's purpose, because anything other than He is leaven. Oh, the subtle one is crouching nearby waiting for his prey! We can easily become his prey because in our human nature is the desire to make it easy for people to experience spiritual things. But whatever you use to help people to touch spiritual things is a type of leaven. The pure and sanctified way to preach the gospel and to bring people to Christ is prayer and the ministry of the Word. Do not take any other way. If after praying and ministering the Word, people will still not receive the gospel, that is up to the Lord. Whether or not people receive our word is a matter of the Father's will. We do not want to use any gimmicks to help in our preaching. Every gimmick is leaven. We are not for a work or for a movement--we are for the testimony of Jesus.
...Be careful not to take anything other than Christ. In building up the church and spreading the Lord's testimony, the only way is to pray and to minister the pure Word. In the eyes of God, any gimmick--anything other than Christ, the Word, prayer, and the Spirit--is leaven. We must pray until our preaching is in the power of the Spirit, and we must pray until our testimony is filled with the riches of Christ. This is the pure meal as food for God and man. This is what the Lord wants today. ( Life-study of Matthew , pp. 468-469)
Use of Gimmicks Exposes Our Shortages
...In charismatic meetings, they sometimes use rock music, dramas, and all kinds of performances to attract people. These are all gimmicks. The use of these gimmicks shows that the power of the Spirit is lacking. If we have the real power of the Spirit, we do not need any gimmicks. The early disciples did not use any gimmicks, but they had power (Acts 1:8; 4:33; 6:8, 10). On the island of Taiwan, no Christian work can compare or compete with the work of the Lord's recovery in the preaching of the gospel. There is no use of gimmicks, but the power of the Spirit is there. ( Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses , p. 12)
Any proposal to use gimmicks to preach the gospel is a strong proof that we have not exercised our faith. If I only exercised my mentality in the speaking of my messages, my speaking would be poor. I must exercise my spirit to believe that I am in the baptism in the Spirit and that the Lord will speak through me. You do not need any gimmicks to preach the gospel, but you do need to deal with your sins. You do not need to fast and pray, but you do need to open yourself to the Lord and have a renewed consecration. ( Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses , p. 12)
Use of Worldly Means Causes the Church to Fall into the World
"He shall not amass horses to himself, and he shall not turn the people back to Egypt so that he may amass horses, since Jehovah has said to you, You shall never again return that way" (v. 16). For the king to amass horses to himself would have caused the people to fall back to Egypt. Egypt signifies the world, and horses signify the worldly means. If we use the worldly means or the worldly way, we will surely become fallen and turn back to the world. ( Life-study of Deuteronomy , pp. 120-121)
Music for Entertainment Is Idolatry
In the sight of God, the music and the dramas found in certain services are idolatry.... We also must be careful in the way we use musical instruments in the meetings. Our singing should be for worship, not for fun. When we sing in the meetings, we need to have a genuine spirit of worship. If our singing becomes mere entertainment, that is idolatry. The singing in the meetings of the church must not be play; it must be genuine worship offered to God. ( Life-study of 1 Corinthians , pp. 422-423)
To Bring in Elements That Contradict God's Nature, Christ's Redemptive Work, and the Spirit's Transforming Work Is to Mar God's Building
First Corinthians 3:17 says, "If anyone destroys the temple of God, God shall destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, which you are." To destroy the temple of God is to ruin, corrupt, defile, or mar it. To destroy the temple of God means to build with the worthless materials of wood, grass, and stubble, as described in verse 12. This refers to some Jewish believers who attempted to build the church with elements of Judaism, and to some Greek believers who endeavored to bring philosophical elements into the building. All this tended to corrupt, ruin, defile, and mar the temple of God, that is, to destroy it. Using any doctrine which differs from the fundamental teachings of the apostles (Acts 2:42), or any ways and efforts that contradict God's nature, Christ's redemptive work, and the Spirit's transforming work is to corrupt, ruin, defile, mar, and destroy the church of God. ( Life-study of 1 Corinthians , pp. 287-288)
Using Worldly Means To Produce "Fruit" Produces "Moabites" and "Ammonites"
...We all must endeavor to preach the gospel, but consider what we are. If we are in the image of God and if we have the dominion of God, we will surely bring others into the image of God and dominion of God. All the local churches need the increase, but never use gimmicks, which may produce "Moabites" instead of the proper fruit. ( Life-study of Genesis , p. 108)
...In order to bear fruit, we should live by Christ, live out Christ, pray, and help people to receive the living word of God so that they might be reborn. This is the way to bring forth the proper fruit to be the "Isaac" for the fulfilling of God's purpose. But look at today's situation: some groups use rock music, dancing, drama, movies, and games to satisfy their desire of securing the increase. In the eyes of God, this is spiritual incest. ( Life-study of Genesis , p. 721)
Lot's drugged daughters were desirous of having seed regardless of the means (19:31-35). They cared only for the goal, not for the way. Many Christian groups are like this. ( Life-study of Genesis , p. 722)
Those who use rock music and other gimmicks in their gospel preaching may bring some people to the Lord by these means, but all such will be Moabites. ( The World Situation and God's Move , p. 37)
Only Work That Is Based on the Divine Nature of the Father, the Redemptive Work of the Son, and the Transforming Work of the Spirit Will Be Approved at the Judgment Seat of Christ
Watchman Nee saw through 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 that the important thing regarding our work is not its quantity but its quality. Gold, silver, and precious stones are always small in quantity but high in quality, whereas wood, hay, and stubble are always high in quantity and low in quality. Wood, hay, and stubble cannot stand the test of fire, but gold, silver, and precious stones can. We will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ not according to the quantity but according to the quality of our work. ( Watchman Nee: A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age , p. 86)
It is significant that Paul mentions only three categories of precious materials-gold, silver, and precious stones-for these correspond to the Three of the Triune God. The gold refers to the nature of God the Father, the silver to the redemptive work of the Son, and the precious stones to the transforming work of the Spirit. This is the experience of the Triune God becoming the supply for us to minister to the saints and the materials for the building up of the church. If we build the church with these precious materials, and not with our natural man or culture, we shall be taking heed how we build on Christ. Then our building work will not destroy the temple of God, and we shall not suffer God's destruction. ( Life-study of 1 Corinthians , p. 237)
...Instead, we must take Christ, the all-inclusive One, as the foundation and build on Him, not with our nature, being, or doings, but with the nature of God, the redemptive work of the Son, and the transforming work of the Spirit of God. If by the mingled spirit we build with these precious materials, we shall be carrying on a proper work for the Lord's recovery. As a result, when the Lord comes back, our work will pass the test, and we shall receive the reward to enjoy the coming kingdom.... ( Life-study of 1 Corinthians , p. 254)
Using any doctrine which differs from the fundamental teachings of the apostles (Acts 2:42), or any ways and efforts that contradict God's nature, Christ's redemptive work, and the Spirit's transforming work is to corrupt, ruin, defile, mar, and destroy the church of God. ( Life-study of 1 Corinthians , pp. 287-288)
Only By Living Christ Can We Bear Remaining Fruit
Let us look to the Lord that we may see the unique vision concerning God's economy. His only desire is that we take Him as our life and person and live by Him. Branches bring forth fruit by abiding in the vine. In the same way our fruit-bearing is the outflow of life. It is not a work, but our living. The same is true of our meetings and our gospel preaching. Our gospel is the Christ we live. ( Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41) , p. 46)
The way to preach the gospel is to walk in Christ. Such a statement may seem abstract, because we are used to finding ways, or planning activities, to get things accomplished. Some of us may think that the way to preach the gospel is to use musical instruments or to have a quartet sing some gospel songs. There is also the way of eloquence, having a talented speaker give an entertaining message. It has even been said among us that the way to gain people is to go where they are; I have heard of some going to movies, bars, and ballet dances for the purpose of "catching fish." All such proposals are ways. They are devoid of Christ....
Because we live Christ, He is the way we preach the gospel. Do not have the opinion that this is a slow way to get the increase. If just one is saved per year through each of us, there will be a one hundred per cent increase. Further, those who are saved in this way will become the remaining fruit. Such will not be the case with those who are brought in through the use of gimmicks; most of them will not stay. ( Life Messages, Vol. 1 (#1-41) , pp. 187-188)