My Personal Testimony of Coming Into the Local Church
I would like to share with you how I got saved and entered into the practical church life in Los Angeles, CA.
I was raised in a sound evangelical denomination. In fact, I was in the third generation of our family attending that denomination. In that church the gospel was regularly preached, revivals were held two to three times per year, missions were strong and numbers were increasing. I received the Lord Jesus into my heart in one of the childrens meetings when I was nine years old.
There were four children in our family and our mother prayed much for us and others to be saved. She was a lover of Jesus and a person seeking the truth. Later I became a pastor and missionary for Christ. My younger brother left the denomination that we were in and began to meet with the local church in Los Angeles. He invited my mother to a meeting and she attended. She was going through a lot of personal hardship and suffering in the family. The meeting was a prayer meeting and at the end of the meeting, one of the elders spoke a brief word on transformation in Romans 12:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 3:16-18. After over 55 years of being a Christian, she had never heard anything concerning transformation and was deeply impressed. She said to him, Why do we not hear things like this in the denominations? She received great light and help from that short word of fellowship.
With my wife and five children I went to Indonesia as a missionary. While we were there my brother sent me some books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. While I was reading Brother Nees book, The Glorious Church, it was as if scales fell off my eyes and I saw for the first time in my life that Gods principle always has been, and still is, one man and one woman. The Bible begins this way and ends this way with Adam as a type of Christ and Eve as the type of the church in Genesis and Christ as the Lamb who is the Bridegroom and the church who is the Bride in Revelation. This is the New Jerusalem. The vision of the oneness of the Triune God with His people is not only spiritual but also practical. When I saw this I felt I lost my choice. It was no longer go to the church of your choice, but be the church which is His choice!
When we returned to the U.S. in 1971, we began to meet with the local church in Los Angeles and became one with all the Christians in that city. We dropped our titles, position, teachings, and denominational names and took only the name of Christ. We left things that divided us from being one practically, and now we are functioning as normal believers in Christ, loving and serving Him and the believers in the church.
After 28 years of living, experiencing, and practicing this vision of the local churches, we are strengthened and encouraged as never before that God is realizing His purpose in the local churches for the building up of the Body of Christ on the earth in this age so He can return.