Watchman Nee fully believed in the scriptural, fundamental faith held by all true Christians. He believed in the verbal inspiration of the Bible and that the Bible is God’s holy Word. He believed that God is triune—Father, Son, and Spirit—distinctly three, yet fully one, co-existing and coinhering each other from eternity to eternity. He believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, even God Himself, incarnated as a man with both the human and the divine life, that He died on the cross to accomplish redemption, that He rose bodily from the dead on the third day, that He ascended into heaven and was enthroned, crowned with glory, and made the Lord of all, and that He will return the second time to receive His followers, to save Israel, and to establish His millennial kingdom on the earth. He believed that every person who believes in Jesus Christ will be forgiven by God, washed by His redeeming blood, justified by faith, regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and saved by grace. Such a believer is a child of God and a member of the Body of Christ. He also believed that the destiny of every believer is to be an integral part of the church, which is the Body of Christ and the house of God.
In addition to these five aspects of the Christian faith, Watchman Nee was further enlightened to receive clear revelation from the Lord concerning fifty-three other scriptural teachings, which are crucial for fully understanding and practicing the Christian faith. (Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, p. 151)
Thank the Lord that, according to what we know, as far as the history of the church and the existing state of the church are concerned, there has not been one age in which the Lord’s revelation to His church has been as thorough and as high as what He has revealed to us in the past seventy-four years, beginning with Brother Nee. Through Brother Nee He first showed us the matter of salvation. In those days thousands of Western missionaries went to China. Many of them had quite a measure of spiritual worth and were quite learned. But not one Western missionary taught concerning the matter of salvation in a thorough, well-rounded way. This was the case until Brother Nee was raised up by the Lord. He not only preached the gospel, but he saw the salvation accomplished by the Lord according to His redemption, from the inside to the outside, from the beginning to the end, in a complete, well-rounded way, and he also handed over everything to us. You all know about this. If you want to know the details, you need to read Brother Nee’s publications. For this reason we have compiled all his publications and printed them in three sets. Although you are all very busy, I still hope that you can read every page of those three sets.
Furthermore, through Brother Nee the Lord showed us the matter of the church. Concerning the church, the Lord showed us, on the negative side, that Christianity and Catholicism are altogether degraded and deformed. Never before had anyone spoken about the degradation of the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches in such a clear and thorough way as Brother Nee did. On the positive side, the Lord also led Brother Nee to see the local church, that is, the practical aspect of the church. He expended much effort in stressing this point. Eventually, the point of his emphasis became very clear. He enabled us to see clearly the ground of the church and the reality of the church.
Third, it was also through Brother Nee that God showed us the matter of Christ as our life. Christ is to be to us not only the Savior, the Redeemer, the Deliverer, the Grace-giver, and much more. These are not the center. The center is that Christ is to be our life. The Lord’s redeeming, saving, and giving of grace are not the goal but the procedure to reach the goal. God’s goal is Christ as our life. I say again, not only did the Western missionaries who went to China not stress this point; even in the entire history of Christianity only a handful paid attention to this point. This handful of people began mainly with Madame Guyon. Later, there were the mystics, and after them there were the inner-life people. Of course, Brother Nee stood on their shoulders, but Brother Nee saw something in a more thorough way and something higher, deeper, and richer than what they had seen.
After this God showed us the Body of Christ through Brother Nee. The Lord showed us that the local church is the procedure and not the goal. The goal of the local church is the building up of the Body of Christ. Here, regretfully, among us there were quite a number of brothers who were weighty, yet they saw only the importance of the local church and did not see the Body of Christ. Hence, they rose up to argue, saying that Brother Nee said very clearly that all local churches are autonomous, each having nothing to do with the others. Not one local church, whatever it may be, should interfere with another local church. This is their total disregard for the Body of Christ. Therefore, through Brother Nee the Lord showed us further that what God wants in the end is not the local church. Although at the end of the Bible there are seven lampstands, they all become one city, the New Jerusalem.
Although Revelation 2 and 3 show us seven different churches, …the differences among the churches are not on the positive side but on the negative side. The seven churches have their distinctive characteristics only in their negative conditions, such as their failures, degradation, mistakes, and shortages.
Not only so, Revelation does not have only three chapters. If we read on, first we see the overcomers. Although they are the overcomers in the local churches, in chapter twelve we see that they are one man-child, not seven man-children. In chapter fourteen we see that they are one group of 144,000 overcomers, not two groups, and much less seven groups. These 144,000 overcomers cannot possibly be out of one church. In the entire book of Revelation we see only one man-child, one group of overcomers. Furthermore, Peter was the apostle who set up the Jewish churches, and Paul was the apostle who set up the Gentile churches (Gal. 2:8). But at the end of Revelation the churches set up by the twelve apostles are one building, the holy city New Jerusalem, the Body of Christ. (The High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ, pp. 8-10)