VI. The Spread of the Local Churches throughout the United States
In Acts, the apostles established local churches in every city where they went to preach the gospel (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). This was the Lords move to spread the local churches at that time. Below, Witness Lee discusses the Lords present move to spread local churches throughout the United States, likening the spread to an irresistible sweeping tide.
Let me tell you what is on my heart and deep within my spirit. From what I have seen in the past six years in traveling through this country, I am fully convinced that the Lord is sweeping over the United States. He is sweeping from the West Coast to the East Coast for the local churches.
There has been a rumor in the past two or three years that there will be a big earthquake with a tidal wave on the West Coast, and Los Angeles will drop into the ocean. When I heard this, I said, "Yes, there will be a big earthquake, but not for this city to go down into the ocean, but to rise up." There will be a tide, but it will be a tide of the local churches sweeping throughout the United States.
If you do not believe me, simply wait and see. No one can stand against this tide. This is the Lords doing, and this is the Lords moving. It is not a human movement. Before His return, the Lord must recover the church life in the localities. He must build up the local churches. And I have the full assurance that the Lord will use the United States for this purpose.
I do not care what people say about the United States. There are so many opinions, but I say that they are all nonsense. The Lord will keep and protect the United States for His purpose. The Lord will keep this country to recover the local churches as a real preparation for His return. (28)
Witness Lee concludes this chapter with a summary of the Lords up-to-date move to recover the local churches as well as a call to the believers to enter into the practicality of the church life, resulting in the preparation of the Lords bride for His return.
This is what I mean when I say that we must be up-to-date with the Lord. The Lord is moving to recover the local churches. It is not a matter of doctrine; it is a matter of the tide, the flood, the moving of the Lord.
The Brethren have seen the doctrine, but they stopped there; they would not go on with the Lord. But the Lord could not wait. The Lord went on to recover the reality and the spirituality of the Church. Then the first group began to criticize the second group: they said that the spirituality was not according to the doctrine. Thus they started to be and still are against the second group. But the sad story has been repeated. The second group was used by the Lord in the beginning of the twentieth century to recover the reality of the Church, yet they also stopped there; they would not go on with the Lord. Yet the Lord could not wait. He has gone on to recover the practicality of the church life. So now the first group, plus the second group, are all opposing the third group.
What will come after the practicality? I believe that the Lord will come back. The Lord will prepare His Bride by recovering the local churches, the practicality of the church life. Praise the Lord for His recovery! Praise the Lord for the doctrine, the reality, and the practicality of the church life. And the practicality of the church life is in the local churches. God is in Christ, Christ is in the Church, and the Church is in the local churches. So to be up-to-date is to be up to the local churches! We must be in the local churches! This is Gods divine way. (28-29)
Witness Lee strongly exhorts the believers to cooperate with the Lord in His progressive recovery of the local churches on this earth. When Christ returns to marry His Bride, the Church, she must be fully prepared in actuality. To receive merely the doctrine and spirituality of the Church is inadequate—we must also allow the Lord to lead us into the practicality of the Church in the local churches.
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