中文

B.M.

ISSUE 61

Fellowship unto the Furtherance of
the Gospel in Malaysia
through Participation in
THE LITERATURE WORK

The Speaking God

       Our God is a speaking God. His work follows His word. Wherever the word of God is, there is the work of God. God's word accomplishes what God delighted in and prospers according to the way He commanded. Isaiah 55:11 says, "My word…goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me vainly, but it will accomplish what I delight in, and it will prosper in the matter to which I have sent it." He spoke, and it was; He commanded, and it stood (Psa. 33:9; Heb. 11:3).

The Literature Work in the Old Testament Age

      Throughout the ages God has been working to gain His corporate expression. This is God's delight and good pleasure. He began by creating the heavens and the earth through speaking from the very beginning in Genesis. He spoke and all things came into being. In Exodus, God operated and moved among the Israelites through Moses. Not only did He bring the whole nation of Israel out of Egypt into the good land, He also gave them His law and commandment through Moses. Moses wrote down everything and passed it to all the children of Israel. He also recorded in detail how God moved and what God spoke to the nation of Israel. All these records and statements were compiled into the books of Pentateuch. Later, Ezra even translated and duplicated all these pieces for the sake of re-educating and reconstituting the Israelites upon their return from captivity.
       How blessed we are today because of the literature works that our forefathers had done. We have those books because the servants of God recorded and compiled them for us. The Old Testament is indeed one of the most ancient compilation and records preserved and made available by His servants in order to pass it down from one generation to another generation. Through such a literature work by the faithful servants of God, the word of God is in our hand today. We can enjoy His word and be enlightened by it.

The Literature Work in the New Testament Age

      In the New Testament, the very eternal God became a man. He is the Word (John 1:1) and the words that are spoken by Him are spirit and are life (John 6:63b). His speaking dispenses spirit and life. In carrying out His earthly ministry, the Lord gained a group of disciples, His followers, to become His witnesses to testify Him. After the Lord was ascended, the apostles continued to testify and speak forth the Lord. All the Lord's speaking and the testimony concerning Him were written and recorded down by His disciples and were compiled into books.
       Today we have the Book and this Book, the Bible, of nearly a few thousand years of history was compiled and printed into millions of copies for those who love God and His word. The Bible was also being translated into thousand of languages to meet the need of different tongues. Many lovers of God are still translating and printing this Book.
       Thus, there is a great need for us in the Lord's recovery today to be one with God and cooperate with Him in translating and publishing the Bible. We acknowledge that without the Bible as the Word of God, there will not be God's work. Without the literature to put out the ministry of the Word, which conveyed to us the interpreted and understood divine truths, there will not be the Lord's recovery. Throughout the history of the church, the literature work plays an important role in every stage of the Lord's recovery.

A Brief History of the Literature Work
in the Lord's Recovery

      In the Lord's recovery, God has shown us the vision and the high peak of the divine revelation in the Bible. We have received the aggregate and proper understanding of the Bible because we are standing on the shoulders of many who have gone before us. Besides the Recovery Version Bible, we also have compilations of so many writings and spiritual books and the collections of the riches inherited by the Lord's recovery. As such, it is all the more pressing for us to pick up this urgent and great burden to translate the Bible into so many languages according to the up-to-date vision of the age. All these divine truths need to be published and properly translated into different kinds of languages for the spiritually hungry ones who love the Lord out there.
       Therefore the literature work is of great importance. Brother Watchman Nee saw this. In his early ministry, he already started to write articles in Christian periodicals. It was through one of his articles in a Christian periodical that Brother Witness Lee came to know him and eventually became his intimate and faithful co-worker. In his ministry, Brother Lee placed much stress in publication and literature work. He said, "The Lord has provided us with the marvelous environment for the release of the divine revelation….Much of what Brother Nee shared was never put into print. I feel very sorry about this. Because I saw this situation, I decided that after I leave, I do not want the truths the Lord has shown me to be left in my grave. I want to put out whatever the Lord has shown me….I am thankful to the Lord that much of what I have spoken has been put into print. Even if I die, my word in the Lord still speaks" (The World Situation and the Direction of the Lord's Move, pp. 38-40).
       Brother Nee and Brother Lee had the ministry of the Word of God. They fully received, absorbed and compiled all the precious revelation in the Scriptures given by God to mankind and the understanding of the divine revelation possessed by saints throughout the generations. Under God's leading, they also received new revelation and light, presenting to us the entire God's economy to meet the need of this age. Although they were no longer with us, the speaking left behind by their ministry continues to supply God's children throughout the whole earth through literature.

The Value of Literature Work
in Gospelizing, Truthizing and Churchizing
The Whole World

      The literature work coordinates with the ministry of the Word to bring God's word to people, without which God's word cannot be accessed by man. Without the cooperation of publication, the gospel of the Lord and the work of the truth cannot reach out to many who are hungry for the Lord and also desire the truth. This work is indeed very significant in relation to the move of the Lord to gospelize, truthize and churchize the whole world.
       We can really testify that the spread of the Lord's recovery goes hand in hand with the widespread distribution of the ministry. Just as in Acts, the multiplication of the disciples was through the growth of the Word (Acts 6:7). The Lord's recovery in Mainland China was very much through the literature work, as also the case with the spread of His recovery in the English-speaking world. The publication of two particular books by Watchman Nee—The Normal Christian Life and The Normal Christian Church Life—prepared the way for Brother Lee's ministry in the United States. In the early 1990s, when the former Soviet Union opened up to the West, Brother Lee led the way to flood these countries with the Recovery Version and selected ministry titles. In fact, almost all the churches in Russia were initially raised up with literature contacts.

The Spread of the Lord's Recovery in Malaysia

       The Lord is currently moving in the same way to spread His recovery, gospelizing, truthizing and churchizing this country, Malaysia. Malaysia needs to be gained by the Lord to shame His enemies that this country may become His kingdom. He desires golden lampstands to be raised up in every city in this country to be the corporate expression of the Triune God, the testimony of Jesus. He wants His Body to be builded up, the Bride to be prepared and the kingdom of God to be brought down to the earth that He can return. For this to be realized, the literature work plays an immense role.
      Nevertheless who can rise up to co-work with God to serve in the literature work? Are we those who say that the time has not come for the house of God to be built and thus dwell in our own paneled-up houses, while the house of God lies waste (Hag. 1:2-4)? Dear saints, "Now therefore thus says Jehovah of hosts, Consider your ways."
       Amen! Let us consider our ways. The burden to spread the truths of the Lord's recovery to every corner in Malaysia and eventually to the whole inhabited earth is heavy. The need of the literature work is great. There are so much to do just to dwell in translating all the spiritual books and especially the Old Testament Recovery Version Bible into Bahasa Malaysia. Brother Nee was the seer of the divine revelation and Brother Lee was the herald of the divine revelation. Saints, we are the propagators of the divine revelation today. The Lord has commissioned us with the ministry of His word and all of us can participate in the literature work at least in one or two of the following ways:

(A) Pray

      We can pray in the Lord's prayer. Our prayer prepares the way for the Lord's move and opens the gate for the spreading of His Word. We need to pray regularly, constantly and specifically for the translation, production and distribution of the publications. This is because the publication work is a very powerful service in the Lord's recovery. It is likened to the logistics of a country, equivalent to the producing of "weapons" for the Lord. God's enemy knows this and therefore he is looking out for every chance and opportunity to distract and hinder the progress and completion of this work. However if some of us are in harmony on earth to pray concerning this matter, whatever we bind on the earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever we loose on the earth shall have been loosed in heaven (Matt. 18:18). Our prayer needs to go along with the translation and publication work so that the Lord may protect His own interest. We can become His co-workers in prayer.

(B) Offer, Buy and Give Away Books

       We can also give in the Lord's giving. We can offer up material riches for the needs of the workers and work involved in publication.
       Another practical way to give is to introduce the publications by buying and giving them away. Brother Nee in the publication of his paper, The Christian, requested the readers, "Friends, please do not forget to introduce our paper to others....The reason we have done our best to publish it is that we want the truth to spread and to save and edify some people. We hope that you will have a share in this work and would do your best to introduce this paper to others" (The Collected Works of Watchmen Nee, vol. 7, pp. 1235-1236).
       Brother Nee also encouraged the saints to give away books: "This work is very important. Of course, we should do our best to proclaim our beloved Lord and other truths with our mouth. But we cannot take hold of everyone to speak to him. For this reason, we should give away books. Do you know that giving books away produces the greatest results? Do you know that giving away a good book can lead others to receive the Lord, to understand the truth, and to forsake heresies? Unfortunately, those believers who are able would not do this work. Although we cannot know the result of giving books away, in that day when we stand before the judgment seat, we will see why it was worthwhile to do this work. We publish books, and you should buy and give away books" (The Collected Works of Watchmen Nee, vol. 7, p. 1236). Indeed some may be separated to do translation work but we are doing the same one work for His move on earth by our buying and giving away books, co-working together for the advancement of His gospel.

(C) Serving in Literature and Translation Work

      We can also participate in the literature work by serving in literature and translation work. There is a need for more serving ones who are available, burdened and competent to participate in person, in various practical services of the literature work, to translate the Bible and ministry books into the local language. Some need to labor to produce them in different forms, i.e. books, electronic books, audio visual products and even to put them up on the online portal. Taking the translation of Bahasa Malaysia Old Testament Recovery Version Bible and the life-studies for instance, if we have enough manpower to finish the work within a few years, the next generation of the Malay speaking community will be able to study the Bible with life-studies as the reference books in their hand. We hope that the Lord will raise up younger generation to see this vision and give themselves for His work.

(D) Propagating and Distributing

       We can also make available the publications by propagating and distributing them to all the hungry seekers of the truth, supplying them with spiritual food. Today our vision is to go and tell the high-peak truths to the Christians. The Lord's present charge to us is to go and teach the nations (Matt. 28:19). Many seeking Christians are seeking something higher, deeper, and richer than what Christianity can offer them. What shall we do? We have to go, propagate, distribute and spread the riches of the divine truths to them. As Romans 10:14-15 says, "…how shall they hear without one who proclaims Him?…As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the news of good things!'" Saints, let us rise up to cooperate with our Lord by spreading all the riches of His word to all the hungry children of God.

Conclusion

      The door is wide open for us to grasp the opportunity to participate in this noble work. The Lord aspired for a builded church as His corporate expression on the earth. He is moving and the Spirit is operating in a sevenfold intensified way to end this age. This aspiration and desire of God's heart can be hastened, fulfilled and accomplished through the intimate cooperation of literature work.
       In this last age, let us consider our ways! May the Lord be merciful to us to see the important role played by the literature work and stir up a genuine desire in us to cooperate with Him in whichever way that He measures for us. We can pray in His praying, give in His giving and go in His going. This is the best opportunity we can render to God to co-work with Him in the matter of literature work that He may be pleased and satisfied. Praise the Lord! May the earth be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as water covers the sea (Isa. 11:9). Amen!

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