1.Guidlelines for the Propagation of the Lord's Recovery(Part 1)

***Guidlelines for the Propagation of the Lord's Recovery *** (chapter 1) 1. Pursuing the Truth to Be Equipped GOSPELIZING AND TRU...

***Guidlelines for the Propagation of the Lord's Recovery***(chapter 1)


1. Pursuing the Truth to Be Equipped


GOSPELIZING AND TRUTHIZING TAIWAN

Today Taiwan is prosperous, advanced, and educated. All of these aspects are commendable and can be considered quite outstanding in the world. This provides us with a good situation and an excellent opportunity to gospelize and truthize Taiwan. We need to teach the saints the truth and to go and teach others the truth. We can teach our relatives, friends, classmates, and neighbors. We all have relatives and friends who need us to teach them the truth. In addition, when we take any kind of public transportation, we can speak the truth to those around us. Whether we are taking a short trip or a long trip on the road, even in the train, we can speak with those around us concerning the truth.

The function of the church as a golden lampstand is to shine on people. We should consider whether our church as a golden lampstand is shining. If we are not shining brightly, it may be that the gospel and the truth are not going forth. In the meetings in Taipei, the singing is strong and the atmosphere is uplifted. With such an atmosphere, one thousand saints should be willing to go out to preach the gospel and speak the truth.

The strength displayed in our singing needs to be brought into our daily living. We should be strong in the meetings as well as at home. We can sing a hymn to our relatives and speak the truth to them based on the hymn. If we are unable to speak the truth, we will need to take the way of Christianity and invite our relatives to listen to a message on the Lord’s Day. However, regardless of how wonderful the message is, it may not apply to them. Therefore, we should avoid this way and instead speak the truth.

Before visiting Taiwan this time, I received a letter from you, which said that many saints have a burden to go to different places in the world for the propagation of the Lord’s testimony. This is very good. However, we first need to truthize Taiwan. This can be compared to an apprentice who is learning to be a barber. A person learning to be a barber should first cut simple hairstyles. We should learn and practice to speak the truth in Taiwan.

When I began to serve the Lord full time in 1933, I knew that I would take this way my whole life. Before this I was an accountant; I never attended a seminary. However, I knew that in order to serve the Lord full time, I had to be able to preach, so I practiced aggressively. I learned as an apprentice and practiced by speaking to the sea. This kind of exercise truly helped, but the effectiveness was not evident, because the object of my preaching, the sea, could not respond. However, our situation is different. There are people for us to practice with everywhere. We can speak in the meetings and in our homes. We can speak to our parents, our relatives, and our friends. No matter where we are, we can practice and learn to speak. We need to speak all the time. If we will receive this word and practice for two months, we will make progress.

In order to teach, we must first learn; without learning we cannot teach. I am burdened for us to see that we must learn the truth. The word of the truth saves us and releases us. It also sanctifies us and builds us up. After we learn the truth, we will be able to speak the truth. Then the truth, the Lord’s word, will grow. The more the truth grows, the more it multiplies. If we preach the gospel and teach the truth, our speaking will cause the Lord’s word to spread on the island of Taiwan. Eventually, everyone will know the truth. This will be a beautiful situation.

The island of Taiwan is approximately three hundred and ninety kilometers from north to south, and the east and west coasts are divided by the Central Range mountains. It has a population of over nineteen million who reside in concentrated regions. This is a good environment. We should not consider that when we speak to someone, we are speaking only to that person. If the person we are speaking to thinks that our words are reasonable, he will repeat what we say to other people. In this way, our speaking will spread from one person to ten persons, and from ten persons to a hundred persons. We surely need to rise up and speak.

PREACHING THE GOSPEL IN ONE ACCORD

When we first came to Taiwan, we preached the gospel in one accord, and our whole heart was to preach the gospel. Hence, there was some success. At that time, we printed thousands of gospel tracts for the entire population of Taipei. Then the brothers and sisters distributed the gospel tracts to every house. We divided the city of Taipei into several districts, and the saints went to every street and put gospel tracts in every mailbox. In this way, every household in the city of Taipei received a gospel tract.

We also printed gospel banners, such as, “God so loved the world,” “Jesus is Lord,” and “Jesus came to the world to save sinners.” We posted these banners in train stations, bus stops, and at major intersections. The brothers and sisters also hung banners on their doors. When we saw a house with a big banner hanging on the door, we knew that one of the saints lived there.

In addition, we sent out gospel teams on gospel marches. They went out during the day, and sometimes in the evening. Every Lord’s Day afternoon the gospel teams marched from the meeting hall on Renai Road to New Park. They would beat big drums, shout the banners, and sing “You need Jesus.” There was an amphitheater in the park that could seat three thousand people, and people would come out and fill the amphitheater almost every Lord’s Day. We collected at least five hundred names at every gathering. On Monday evening we distributed the names to the saints, and they visited the people on their list. Many elders and deacons in the churches in Taiwan were saved during those gospel gatherings.

Many people were saved in those days. One Saturday evening we baptized about four hundred people in three halls in Taipei and then baptized another three hundred the next morning. We baptized over seven hundred people. By preaching the gospel in this way, our number reached fifty thousand in six to seven years; this was a hundredfold increase. We need to be aggressive in preaching the gospel.

We have been in Taiwan for thirty-five years. In the first seven years our number increased from five hundred to fifty thousand, but since then our number has not increased. If our rate of increase had continued at a hundredfold, we would now have five million saints. If there are fifteen thousand saints in Taiwan who endeavor in the gospel, what would be our rate of increase? If it were only thirty-fivefold, there would be 500,000 saints in Taiwan. Therefore, our goal for the next seven years should be to increase to 500,000. If we think that this is too many, we should at least aim for half of that number, which is 250,000. If we are faithful, our number can reach 250,000 in seven years. This depends on the endeavor of the young brothers and sisters and on the cooperation of the older brothers and sisters.

THE LIFE-STUDIES BEING
A HELP FOR STUDYING THE BIBLE

We should not merely get excited concerning this goal. We also need to work hard to learn the truth. Learning the truth is a must, and the only way to learn the truth is to study the Bible. Some believers read only spiritual publications. This is to receive inspiration and can be compared to eating a snack or drinking coffee. We will not be healthy if we eat only snacks and drink coffee. We need to eat proper food. I am healthy because I eat three proper meals every day. I do not rely on snacks. In the same way, our proper, spiritual food is the Bible.

I am thankful to the Lord that I learned from several good teachers in the Brethren Assembly during the first seven years of my Christian life. I also heard much Bible exposition. The impression that the truths of the Bible formed within me is still very powerful and cannot be nullified. We may be touched when we read a spiritual publication, but that feeling will last for only a few days, and then it will vanish. However, the truths of the Bible that enter into us are permanent. Therefore, we should be encouraged to study the Bible. Everyone needs to study the Bible.

I know that it is not easy to understand the Bible. I am burdened to help the saints to enter into the truths of the Bible, because I also experienced difficulties in learning the Bible. This burden to help the saints was the source of my writing the Life-studies, which are included in the footnotes of the Recovery Version of the New Testament. The Lord’s recovery has a secure standing in the Far East, and it has spread to every continent in the West. Beginning in 1974 I began to use every opportunity to put my knowledge of the Bible into writing. I was already seventy years old by that time. I labored diligently for eleven years to complete the Life-study of the New Testament. This is a great asset that will render the brothers and sisters much help. During those eleven years, I worked with two helpers for about five hours a day and four to five months every year. This was a long period of time. I wrote notes for every chapter from Matthew to Revelation.

There are several principles in my writing of the Life-study of the Bible. First, the Life-studies are not focused on knowledge. They are a life-study; they do not expound the Bible according to knowledge. Second, the function of the Life-studies is to open our mind so that we can understand the Bible. Hence, as long as we read the Life-studies and the footnotes of the Recovery Version, our mind will be opened to understand the Bible. The Life-studies also resolve difficult portions in the Bible. There are a number of portions in the Bible that have puzzled readers for the past two thousand years. Some of these portions were resolved correctly, others incorrectly, and still others were not resolved. I went through these portions and consulted reference books. I then tried my best to write the answers in a proper and unbiased way. Therefore, almost all the difficult portions in the Bible are resolved in the footnotes of the Recovery Version, and the answers are definite.

I began to study the Bible in my youth. For seven and a half years after I was saved, I met with one of the strictest groups of the Brethren, who are known for their exposition of the Bible. In our meetings we were taught by an elderly British brother who had profound biblical knowledge. He once spent at least six months to expound Romans 1:1-2, which says, “The gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures.” Every Lord’s Day he expounded clearly and logically the promises in the Old Testament related to the gospel. In those seven and a half years I attended five meetings every week no matter how heavy it rained or how much it snowed. I received a good foundation there. Later I contacted Brother Nee and became his co-worker. I received much help from him. Moreover, I also studied the teachings of the church fathers throughout the centuries and the writings of Martin Luther and the Reformers after him, of the mystics, of the inner-life, and even of Pentecostalism. I collected and assimilated the best Bible expositions in Christianity. These are incorporated in the footnotes of the Recovery Version. Hence, the footnotes contain the very best of Christian knowledge and Bible exposition throughout the generations.

I used simple English when I wrote the footnotes of the Recovery Version. Sometimes my polishers revised the phrases and words, but I made it clear to them that I do not want to show off my learning. I wanted to reduce the scholarly flavor and present the genuine truths to people in simple words. Therefore, the footnotes are easy to read. I spent much time and effort to write the footnotes. I had two helpers who consulted at least twenty different reference books of two categories. The first category of reference books were related to the original text, and the second category were Bible expositions. For example, I spent one week to write footnote 6 for 1 John 1:6 concerning the eight points on truth. I believe that this footnote is a great help to all of us. Before I wrote that footnote, whenever I spoke on the word truth, I had to study in order to determine the proper definition and find the supporting verses. I do not need to do that anymore, because all the definitions and supporting verses are in the footnote. There are quite a number of footnotes like this. Therefore, all the saints, and especially the young people, should be encouraged to read the Recovery Version and the Life-studies of the New Testament.

READING THE RECOVERY VERSION
AND THE LIFE-STUDIES DAILY

There are about one thousand two hundred messages in the Life-study of the New Testament. We should read one message a day, and we should also read the Recovery Version of the New Testament with its footnotes and marginal cross references. In other words, we need to read these four things every day: about ten pages of Life-study messages and several verses with their footnotes and cross references in the Recovery Version. If we read six messages a week, we will read at least three hundred messages in a year and one thousand two hundred messages in four years. We can read through the Recovery Version of the New Testament and all the messages in the Life-study of the New Testament in four years. The college graduates who will join the full-time training for two years will read two Life-study messages in four hours daily in the training. They will finish all the Life-study messages in two years.

The brothers and sisters who are willing to read all the Life-study messages and to study every word of the Recovery Version of the New Testament will have a solid foundation. This inexhaustible treasure will be within them for their whole life. I have already put into writing the riches that I accumulated through nearly sixty years of labor. Those who can spend four hours a day will be able to read through these riches in two years. This is truly profitable. The young people should also read all the Life-study messages. The saints, who make a schedule to spend two hours reading daily, can finish in four years. The saints who make a more intense reading schedule and spend four hours a day can finish in two years. If all the churches are willing to practice this, every saint will become a “scholar.” Then when we go out to speak the truth, we will be knowledgeable and able to clearly and logically present the truth.

Furthermore, I would encourage the saints who can read English to also read the messages in English. This will help them to use the reference books. Some of the young people should also spend the time to learn Greek. They should not expect to become a Greek scholar. It is good to be able to use the Greek reference books, especially the lexicons, dictionaries, and word studies. There are some good word studies of the New Testament Greek. We will receive much help if we use these reference books. I began to use an English-Greek Interlinear Bible in 1932, so I have been referring to the Greek text for fifty-two years. This has been a help to me.

It is not possible for every brother and sister to study the Bible as I did. Therefore, I wrote the footnotes of the Recovery Version of the New Testament and the Life-study messages to help the saints to enter into the truth. However, at least a few saints should spend some time to study Greek. Nevertheless, the Life-study of the New Testament is complete and is an asset to the Lord’s recovery. If the Lord delays and I go to be with the Lord, the saints will appreciate the preciousness of this asset. All the saints should receive the Lord’s leading and take this way to enter into the truth.

THE LEADING OF THE CHURCH NEEDING TO BE COMPREHENSIVE

During the first seven years of the work in Taipei, my leading to the church was comprehensive. For example, the training in 1953 included truth, life, the church, and the gospel. The church should not have only one aspect. It should not seek only spirituality or only the preaching of the gospel or only the expounding of Scriptures. The leading of the church should also be comprehensive; it should pay attention to the pursuit of the truth, the growth in life, the practice of the church life, and the preaching of the gospel. Hence, these five chapters are given as guidelines. The first chapter is “Pursuing the Truth to Be Equipped” and is related to the truth. The second chapter is “Growing in Life to Live Christ” and is concerning life. The third chapter is “Loving to Live the Normal Church Life” and is related to the church. The fourth chapter is “Being Fervent for the Gospel by Preaching in the Homes and by Spreading through Migration” and is about the gospel. These four chapters are according to the comprehensive outlines that we used in the trainings held during the first seven years in Taiwan. Those trainings covered truth, life, the church, and the gospel. The fifth chapter is “Bearing the Responsibility to Shepherd and Teach in the Homes and Small Groups.” We need a foundation in the truth, the growth in life, and a normal church life. In addition, we need to be fervent to preach the gospel from house to house in our locality and also to spread and propagate the gospel to other places through migration. This is the way found in the Bible. As a result, we will bear some responsibility in the home meetings and group meetings to shepherd and teach the saints.

Of the first four items, pursuing the truth is the most difficult one to practice. The remaining three items have a shortcut, but there is no shortcut for learning the truth. Learning the truth can be compared to studying in school. There is no shortcut. A student must be diligent. When I was young, I memorized Chinese literature in order to be a top student. This was the fruit of diligence. When I learned English, I analyzed the grammar of every word and memorized numerous articles in English. Therefore, when I went to the United States, although I was weak in conversational English, in terms of writing I often corrected the grammar of the American brothers and sisters. I can also understand any verse in the Bible in English, no matter how difficult it is. Sometimes there may be one or two words that I do not know, but due to my proficiency in grammar, I can understand the meaning by analyzing the sentence. If the grammar is inaccurate, our understanding will be inaccurate. Hence, we should not choose an easy way to pursue the truth. Rather, we need to pay the price to learn.

We need to receive this plea and make a resolution to give ourselves to study the Lord’s Word. We have a great asset, and this is an excellent opportunity. If we do not understand English, the Life-study messages are in Chinese. Moreover, there are many treasures in The Ministry of the Word magazine, which we have printed from 1951 to the present. Nevertheless, we need to read the Life-studies every day; we should consider them as our main meal. We should consider the other treasures as something sweet that we eat after our meal. Then we will receive the help.

The Lord has blessed us with these rich treasures. The younger generation needs to expand these treasures so that the word of the Lord could increase. We did not have these treasures in the first seven years in Taiwan, but I rejoice that now these treasures are published. Even though there was not much increase in the last years in Taiwan, the churches continued steadily, and we have an asset. Furthermore, I went to the West, and from there the Lord’s recovery has spread to the whole world. By the Lord’s mercy we held two trainings annually for eleven years and completed the life-study of the entire New Testament. I am satisfied with these treasures.

This is an opportune time for the churches in Taiwan to be encouraged to pick up the way of truth, life, the church, and the gospel that we practiced in the first seven years. We are not poor; we have a rich family inheritance. I have been a Christian for sixty years, but I have not seen a place that can compare to Taiwan. The environment, the level of education, the convenience of transportation, and the prosperity in Taiwan are unprecedented. This is the Lord’s mercy. He has enabled us to maintain a good relationship with the different levels of the government these thirty-five years. We have an excellent opportunity to use these treasures so that others can share our blessings. They can share the blessing of the gospel and salvation and also the blessing of the truth and the divine life. This is our responsibility.

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ZION WE WILL BE: 1.Guidlelines for the Propagation of the Lord's Recovery(Part 1)
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