THE MEANING OF THE LORD’S RECOVERY
After the Lord sent me to the United States, I began the ministry here in December 1962. From that time until the present a little more than thirty years have passed. From the first conference I emphasized the term “the Lord’s recovery.” I told the dear saints that the Lord sent me to this country for nothing but His recovery.
Although the ministry has continued to stress the matter of the Lord’s recovery throughout these years, according to my observation, even some dear saints who have been with us for many years are still not clear concerning what the Lord’s recovery is. Because there are many new ones and young ones in the recovery, I feel very burdened concerning this matter. We need to speak about the Lord’s recovery, to fellowship about the recovery, and to make transactions among ourselves concerning the Lord’s recovery. We are here for the recovery. (1993 Blending Conference Messages Concerning the Lord’s Recovery and Our Present Need, p. 13)
The word recovery means that something was there originally, and then was lost. So there is the need to bring that thing back to its original state. The word recovery is somewhat simple and not too profound, but when we speak of the Lord’s recovery we need to apply it to the revelation of the whole Bible. From this point of view the Lord’s recovery is a profound and crucial thing. In a sense the revelation of the entire Bible is a revelation of recovery. (Concerning the Lord’s Recovery, p. 7)
God is a God with an eternal purpose. He is a purposeful God, and once He has made up His mind to do something, nothing can change His mind, and nothing can stop Him. Apparently some things may frustrate Him a little, but nothing can stop Him. So after Satan’s destruction, God came in to redo the things that He had done before. This redoing is His recovery. This is to bring back whatever has been lost and destroyed by His enemy, Satan. (p. 8)
First, the Lord’s recovery is the recovery of the divine truths as revealed in the holy Scriptures, the holy Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16).…The truths as revealed in the Scriptures have been lost, missed, misunderstood, misinterpreted, and wrongly taught throughout the ages. Hence, there is the need of the Lord’s recovery. In the age of the early apostles, in the age of the church fathers, in the age of the church councils, in the age of Catholicism with the papal system, and in the age of the Protestant practice, the Lord has always recovered some of the lost, misunderstood, misinterpreted, and wrongly taught truths through some of His saints who loved Him and His holy Word. (1993 Blending Conference Messages Concerning the Lord’s Recovery and Our Present Need, pp. 13-14)
THE FIRST ASPECT OF THE LORD’S RECOVERY—
THE REVELATION OF GOD
Simply, the Lord’s recovery has three aspects. The first aspect is the revelation of God. The revelation of God is the speaking of God. From Moses in the Old Testament until the apostle John in the New Testament, God spoke for more than fifteen hundred years. His speaking collectively became the completed Bible, which is in our hands today. Hence, the last book of the Bible, Revelation, says at the end that no one should add to these words or take away from these words (22:18-19).
Even before the first group of apostles passed away, the church had already veered from the word of God, the revelation of God. This was why the apostles wrote the second Epistles, such as 2 Peter, 2 Timothy, the Epistles of 2 and 3 John, etc. All these second Epistles are books of recovery.…After the first group of apostles, in church history there were the so-called church fathers, who defended the truths. However, among the church fathers, because of inadequate light, there was always much contention concerning the truths. It was not until A.D. 325 that, for the sake of maintaining the order in his empire, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great came forward to intervene by calling a meeting at Nicaea in order to quiet the contentions among the church fathers.…The Nicene Creed…was not bad in presenting the orthodox and fundamental doctrines concerning God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. It is still used by the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches. Although this creed is good, in terms of the truth it is still very lacking. Hence, the Nicene Council did not completely solve the problems concerning the truths.
The knowledge concerning the consummated Spirit of the Triune God has been very lacking for centuries.…[In the nineteenth century], when the British Brethren were raised up by the Lord, they pointed out clearly that the Holy Spirit is a person. This was because the word of the Lord Jesus clearly mentioned “the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19), and the church fathers long before had acknowledged the Holy Spirit as a person in the Godhead.…In the twentieth century the Lord’s recovery has reached us. Beginning with Brother Nee, we have read through the Bible thoroughly. We have especially dug out all the verses in the Bible concerning the Holy Spirit. Concerning the consummated Spirit, the Lord has shown us three crucial points. First, the Spirit of God has been processed to become a life-giving spirit (John 7:39; 1 Cor. 15:45b). Second, this consummated Spirit is the compound Spirit typified by the holy anointing ointment in the Old Testament (Exo. 30:23-25). Third, this Spirit has also become the seven Spirits (Rev. 1:4; 4:5; 5:6), that is, the sevenfold intensified Spirit. These three points were not mentioned in the Nicene Creed.…Today many Christians have never heard of the processed and consummated God. Hence, what they are preaching is the unprocessed God in Genesis chapter one. However, what we have seen is the consummated God in Revelation chapter twenty-two.…The final word of the Bible is the highest authority for defining the truth. The Lord in His recovery has already shown us the highest truth defined by the Bible. (The Issue of the Union of the Consummated Spirit of the Triune God and the Regenerated Spirit of the Believers, pp. 75-77)
THE SECOND ASPECT OF THE LORD’S RECOVERY—THE GOD-MAN LIFE
Now we come to the second aspect of the Lord’s recovery, that is, the God-man life, which is the kind of living that the believers need to have. The worldly people emphasize moral and ethical living and religious living; yet these are not what God wants. What God wants is the God-man life, which is God and man living together. In your family life you should have God living together with you. As a wife, you should have God be the wife with you. As a husband, you should have God be the husband with you. As a co-worker, you should have God be the co-worker with you. Even when you go shopping, you should have God go shopping with you. I have often prayed, “Lord, are You willing to go with me? I have a few words that I want to speak to Brother So-and-so. Lord, will You go with me?” Not living alone but living together with God in this way is the God-man life.
We are not religionists living a religious life. Neither are we followers of Confucius’s teachings or Mencius’s thoughts, living a moral and ethical life. We are God-men living a God-man life. The Lord’s recovery is to recover this kind of God-man life. (p. 81)
THE THIRD ASPECT OF THE LORD’S RECOVERY—
THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH
…the third aspect of the Lord’s recovery, that is, the practice of the church. First, the church as the universal Body of Christ is the universal house of God and also the kingdom of God (Eph. 1:23; 1 Tim. 3:15-16; Matt. 16:18-19). These three—the Body of Christ, the house of God, and the kingdom of God—are just one. The Body of Christ is the house of God, and the house of God is the kingdom of God. (p. 84)
In conclusion, the Lord’s recovery has not only the revelation of God but also the God-man life; and the God-man life requires a proper practice of the church. I cannot say that in the church everyone is a God-man, an overcomer; but I can say that in the church the opportunity for us to be a God-man is greater, and it is easier to be an overcomer. This is because in the Lord’s recovery, every local church is daily nurturing us to be overcomers, to be God-men. I hope that the elders and the co-workers in every locality will create an environment in the church to nurture the saints to be God-men to live an overcoming life. (p. 88)
THE GOAL OF THE LORD’S RECOVERY
The Catholic Church, the Protestant denominations, the Brethren assemblies, the Pentecostal churches, and all the free groups are held back by their imperfect and unscriptural theology from the central revelation of God and come short of the completion of God’s eternal economy because of their missing, negligence of, and opposition to the above five critical points concerning the Spirit of God.…The Lord’s recovery today is just the recovery of these critical points concerning the Spirit of God in the move of God’s eternal economy.…If we are asked to explain what the recovery is today, we should be able to answer in one simple sentence: The Lord’s recovery is God becoming the flesh, the flesh becoming the life-giving Spirit, and the life-giving Spirit becoming the sevenfold intensified Spirit to build up the church that becomes the Body of Christ and that consummates the New Jerusalem.…God must have a people who are the God-men to be His overcomers for Him to accomplish His eternal economy concerning the church issuing in the Body of Christ and consummating the New Jerusalem. (The Divine and Mystical Realm, pp. 17-18)
Dear saints, such a mingling living is the reality of the Body of Christ. If among us there is, if not in full at least in part, such a living, the reality of the Body of Christ is among us. This is the high peak of the recovery in the local churches like Mount Zion in the city of Jerusalem. Such a mingling living as the reality of the Body of Christ will consummate ultimately in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth as God’s increase and expression for eternity. (The Practical Points Concerning Blending, p. 37)
What shall we do in the light of this revelation? There is no other way to reach this high peak except by praying. It is more than evident that Jerusalem is here as a big realm of Christians, but where is Zion, the overcomers? In the book of Revelation what the Lord wants and what the Lord will build up is Zion, the overcomers. The overcomers are the very Zion, where God is. This is the intrinsic reality of the spiritual revelation in the holy Word of God. We have to realize what the Lord’s recovery is. The Lord’s recovery is to build up Zion. (p. 46)