My Experience of the Lord and Contact with the Writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee
I was raised in a Christian family and attended a fundamental and evangelical denomination. My folks would often read the Bible and pray with us children. I had a deep impression that my mother was a godly and praying person. She was a real lover and seeker of Jesus. My father was a family medical doctor and felt called of the Lord to serve people in this way. I can often remember him taking house calls late into the night.
I attended a Christian college and was studying psychology and sociology. In my junior year I was seeking the Lord for His will and for direction in my life and had a dynamic answer to prayer. From that point there began to be a change in my interests, from the psychological needs of people to their spiritual needs. In my senior year, I felt burdened for souls to be saved and felt called of the Lord that I should preach the gospel. I knew no other way to prepare myself so I continued my education in the denominational school I was attending. I graduated in 1956 with a double major and received a B.A. degree, and in 1958 an M.A. in religion.
I met my wife, Mary, in college and we were married in 1954. We later had 5 wonderful children, two girls and three boys. I pastored two different churches, one in Wyoming and one in Washington and during this time I became very burdened for missions and for those who had not heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. I prayed much for revival, but never saw what I prayed, believed, and hoped for, in the churches that I served. I had the view that if we Christians would preach the gospel to all the unbelievers and especially to those who had not heard the gospel before, then the Lord Jesus would come back. I was greatly influenced by the lives of George Mueller, C.T. Studd, and Norman Grubb. So later, my wife and I joined the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade and served the Lord as missionaries for close to five years in Indonesia.
It was during this time that I read a small booklet by Watchman Nee, Two Principles of Conduct, and decided I would read everything that he wrote, because I received so much light and life from that little booklet. Before this time I had never seen, heard, or understood the deep and profound spiritual significance of the two trees in Genesis chapter two. My theology started from Genesis 3, the fall of man and Gods promise of redemption. I never realized Gods eternal purpose is clearly revealed in Genesis 1 and 2 and has never changed, even though man fell in sin, and is finally consummated in the New Jerusalem as shown in Revelation 21 and 22.
Some years later I heard that Witness Lee was Watchman Nees closest co-worker in mainland China for 18 years and was presently living in the U.S. My younger brother began to meet with the local church in Los Angeles before we did and sent me more books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. Witness Lees book, The All-Inclusive Christ, opened the spiritual significance of the good land in the Old Testament as a type of the all-inclusive Christ and our experience of Him. After reading their writings, I felt then and still feel today, 28 years later, that these two brothers are gifts to the Body of Christ. They have unlocked the riches of Gods Word for His lovers and seekers, expounded the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation with the view of Gods eternal purpose and shown us how the prayer of the Lord Jesus for the believers oneness in John 17 can be fulfilled on earth today both locally and universally.