House Church Talk - Re: The Local Church (

Bruce Woodford bwood4d at
Sun Sep 28 04:40:45 EDT 2003

Hi Debra,
You wrote:"I question whether 2 must be sent out.  This sounds like the two 
by twos.  However, I agree that leaders must not come to see themselves as 
God's only message for the time and that this is very divisive to the body 
of Christ."

The Lord Jesus set the pattern in Mark 6:7 and Luke 10:1.  Whenever the 
apostles failed to obey and went alone, they NEVER saw churches established! 
   See Peter alone at Lydda and Joppa (Acts 9). Some were healed, raised 
from the dead and some saved. But we never read of a church in either of 
these places. See Paul alone on Mars Hill in Athens (Acts 17). People were 
saved, but we never read of a church at Athens.  But in every single city 
where two or more men went and worked together preaching the Gospel in the 
book of Acts, there was ALWAYS  a church established as a result of their 

Churches also tend to follow the example of those which begin the work. 
"Lone rangers" who plant churches set the pattern for a continuation of 
leadership by lone rangers!  But churches that are established by 
co-operative enterprise of two or more tend to have shared leadership of a 
plurality of elders.

Your brother in Christ,
>Debra Kleppinger
>Paul Cox <paulcox2 at> wrote:
>Thomas wrote:
>Before he died, as the story goes, he entrusted his ministry to his
>trusted and closest protege Witness Lee who then continued the LC legacy
>in Taiwan and then the States in the early 60s...
>A slight correction if you don't mind, brother Thomas. As the story
>goes, when the communist took over China, around 1949, Watchman Nee
>refused to leave the saints on the mainland, but insisted that Witness
>Lee go out and continue the crucial work. This Witness Lee did, on the
>Island of Taiwan, where the work flourished. It has been written and
>history has proven that Witness Lee had a real talent for organization.
>Within a couple of years, Watchman Nee was taken prisoner by the godless
>communist, for the testimony of Jesus. He spent the remaining 20 or so
>years in prison until his death, around 1972, having never tasted the
>freedom of body from those confines. Watchman Nee suffered immensely
>for the Lord. Many legends and exaggerations have been spread
>concerning what he went through there, as is usually the case with
>someone of such stature. However, all indications from the most reliable
>sources say that Watchman Nee remained faithful to the end and died a
>martyr's death, although no one really knows how he actually was
>released from the imprisonment of his frail body.
>Concerning Witness Lee - how do we know that Watchman Nee told Witness
>Lee to go out and continue the work? Well, because "Brother Lee told us
>so". In all fairness though, there must have been witnesses to this
>incident. At any rate, the Lord's way is never to send out one. If
>Watchman Nee sought to single out Witness Lee for sending, then he was
>wrong in that move. It is the Lord HIMSELF that does the sending, and
>He never sends less than two. Two is the number of witness. Were the
>sending completely of the Lord, Witness Lee would have had someone his
>equal to check him. But the history of the Local Church sadly indicates
>that Witness Lee had no one that he considered his peer.
>In 1986, about the time of the beginning of the Local Church split,
>Witness Lee spoke a series of messages to elders and co-workers in
>Taipei, Taiwan. The content of those messages has recently been put in
>book form under the title, "The Vision of the Age". This book has been
>widely circulated among the Local Churches, but to my knowledge is not
>available to the general public. So in love are the LC saints with this
>book that one brother proudly declared that he had read it through nine
>times. In that book, Witness Lee tries to make the case that in every
>"age" (age as defined in the book is actually more like a generation or
>several generations)God only entrusted his vision of what he was doing
>on the earth to "one person". These two words appear throughout the
>book. Lee begins with Adam, goes throughout the Old Testament, the New
>Testament and Church History, pointing out that in each "age" there was
>only "one person". If you are not following that person, then you are
>not at the center of what God is doing. At the conclusion of the book,
>even though he doesn't come out and say it, the implication is strongly
>there that HE, Witness Lee, subsequent to Watchman Nee, is that "one
>person". Therefore, the Local Church saints, without a doubt believe
>that Witness Lee was the Apostle for this age, and that the "Local
>Church" aka "Recovery", is the Lord's up-to-date move on the earth. In
>their less than public gatherings, they boldly declare it to be so. If
>you confront the dear Local Church saints about this, they will dance
>around the issue, but be not deceived, that is what they believe.
>I think that maybe bro. Lee had the best of intentions way back in
>China. Only the Lord really knows. But somewhere along the line, as
>usually happens with controlling leaders, he thought that he might loose
>control, and felt the need to assert himself as the "one person". The
>saints in the "Recovery" are sweet and precious, as are those in many
>sectarian groups; but we must pray for them, that this stronghold be
>This should also serve as a warning to us. This type of thing always
>begins in a seemingly small way, with an individual feeling that their
>opinion is the right one, and everyone should come around to their way
>of thinking. Many of us in the "house church" circles find ourselves
>relatively isolated, and it becomes easy for us to be deluded into
>thinking that our little universe is on the mark of what God is doing -
>like the frog in the well that will swear up and down that the little
>blue circle above his head is THE sky. Well of course it is, but it's
>only a small part of it. We would do well to heed Paul's word to the
>Corinthians. If any man thinks he knows something, he does not yet know
>it as he should (paraphrased).
>Paul Cox
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