On August 10, 2006, Brothers Liu Suey and Benson Phillips sent a letter to certain brothers in the Great Lakes area who had signed one or more letters to leading co-workers in the Lord's recovery during the preceding months. Because the letter sent by Liu Suey and Benson Phillips has been publicly criticized by those dissenting from the present leadership in the Lord's recovery and a response to it has been posted on the Internet, it is important that all of the saints in all of the churches be able to see for themselves the gracious manner in which these two brothers sought to bring the recipients back into fellowship with the churches and the saints generally. The content of their letter is reproduced below.
Brother Liu Suey and
Brother Benson Phillips
1827 W. Beacon Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92804
August 10, 2006
At the outset we want to state that this is a personal letter from us to you and others who signed the three letters that were sent to twenty-one co-workers within the past fourteen months. We have also copied this letter to some of the co-workers with whom we are serving. We take the full responsibility for its content, and we pray that it will reach brothers who are pure in heart and poor in spirit. Our fellowship is as follows:
A number of co-workers, who are serving the Lord throughout the earth in His recovery, have received three letters from you and other brothers in the churches in the Midwestern part of the United States and Eastern Canada. The three letters were dated June 12, 2005, September 24, 2005, and February 28, 2006. Your signature appeared on one, two, or all three letters. We have thoroughly read through all of them. As a result of reading them and other writings authored by brothers from your area and after much consideration before the Lord, we would like to express our great concern that some of you brothers and the churches you serve may be drifting further and further away from the present truth that has built up the Lord's recovery and also away from the fellowship with most of the local churches in the rest of the world. This is happening even though as brothers we all claim to be part of the Lord's present recovery. The three letters, the internet site www.concernedbrothers.com, the publication Fellowship Journal, and a few other documents have made it abundantly clear that some in your area are in danger of leaving the central lane in God's economy as well as the central lane in the Lord's recovery in this age. The Lord's recovery was brought to the United States with a very clear beginning in Los Angeles in 1962 through Brother Witness Lee's ministry and has gradually spread throughout North America and the rest of the world as saints have been gained to fully follow the ministry of the age committed to our two brothers, Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. It is a great mercy of the Lord that among the many believers on the earth, we have seen and been brought to this glorious ministry, which is the New Testament ministry in all its fullness. We rejoice and praise the Lord that out from this ministry many local churches have been established among us in virtually every state or province in Mexico, the United States, and Canada, and on the other continents as well. We praise Him for all the churches with all the saints who are standing in the genuine oneness on the unique and proper ground of locality for the carrying out of His divine economy.
We all believe and have received the same one faith that has been delivered to the saints. Furthermore, we all recognize that by the ministry of our two brothers, whom the Lord chose, many crucial matters in the Lord's recovery have been unveiled or strengthened, such as the truths concerning the Divine Trinity, the all-inclusive Christ, the consummated Spirit, the eternal life, the church as the Body of Christ, the oneness of the Body of Christ, the ground of the church, the God-ordained way for the churches' practice, and the truths of the highest peak of the divine revelation, which Brother Lee said are the consummation of his speaking and which he believed are necessary for us to enter into and experience for the preparation of the bride of Christ to end this age. All these major items are for the fulfillment of the eternal economy of God. As being part of the Lord's present recovery, we should all be of the same mind in these matters.
On the one hand, we can testify that you are in our heart to live together and to die together. On the other hand, we are writing this letter with a heavy heart and a spirit that is grieved and saddened by the situation that is presently among us within the Lord's recovery. The situation that has developed is not pleasing to the Lord. It has now been nine years since Brother Lee has departed to be with the Lord. We are grieved that one part of the Lord's recovery in this nation and Canada would oppose another part. Some of the writings mentioned above from your area are so far off in truth and credibility that they have been gleefully promoted and referred to by outside opposers of the Lord's recovery who are destroyers of the divine building. How could this be? Are you happy about this? Would not anyone from among you rise up to rectify the present situation? We all are brothers in the Lord who have received the same fathering, the same teaching, and the same leading from Brother Lee throughout almost forty years. We have all received the revelation, the vision, and our help from one master builder. We must recognize that Witness Lee was sent by God to bring the revelation concerning God's economy and purpose to this continent. Without his coming to the United States, none of us would be where we are today-in God's will for this age and time.
In every matter of the truth, the church life, and the Lord's testimony, we should be able to fellowship together thoroughly in love and in peace and harmony since all of the local churches are of the same source. Our hope is that as Brother Lee fellowshipped with us, we all can find a way to be blended together again more and more. We believe that only in this way can our oneness and one accord be restored. Brother Lee said, "Among us we should have the blending of all the individual members of the Body of Christ, the blending in certain districts, the blending of all the co-workers, and the blending of all the elders. Blending means that we should always stop to fellowship with others. Then we will receive many benefits. If we isolate or seclude ourselves, we will lose much spiritual profit. Learn to fellowship. Learn to be blended" (The Divine and Mystical Realm, p. 87).
Brother Lee also said in the book The Practical Points Concerning Blending, "The purpose of the blending is to usher us all into the reality of the Body of Christ" (p. 10). "...although the recovery has been in the United States for more than thirty-two years, it has been only in these recent years that we have felt the need to enter into the reality of the Body of Christ. This is the purpose of the blending" (p. 11). "Even among us who are in the recovery, not many have the realization that we need the blending, and we need it desperately. The heavy burden in the ministry that is on my heart and in my spirit is the matter of blending" (p. 14). "You must realize that there is a great lack, a shortage, that is, the reality of the Body of Christ. It is for this reason that there is a need for the blending" (p. 16). "We need to endeavor to reach in the church life the highest peak, today's Zion, of the reality of the Body of Christ until we consummate in the New Jerusalem, including Zion. Dear saints, this is our need. To have the blending is to meet this need" (p. 20). "The significance of our blending is the reality of the Body of Christ. This reality is nothing but the group of God's redeemed who have all been made God, the God-men, by God. They live a life not by themselves but by another life which is within them. This other life is the Triune God processed and consummated to enter into them and to take them as His abode, His dwelling place...The reality of the Body of Christ is a living by all the God-men united, joined, and constituted together with God by mingling humanity with divinity and divinity with humanity" (p. 26). May the Lord fully bring us into the blending for the recovery of the reality of the Body of Christ.
Concerning the blending, Brother Lee, just before his departure to be with the Lord, fellowshipped with some co-workers in Southern California that he desired to see that there would be a continuation of the gatherings for all the churches and saints throughout the recovery seven times a year. Brother Lee told us to consider this as a part of his will to the Lord's recovery. He told us this because of the need in the recovery for continual blending among all the churches with all the saints. These seven gatherings also provide a time together to be under the up-to-date speaking of God according to His present ministry for this age to all the local churches across the earth for their rich life supply. Although there have been reports of the accusation that some brothers have "hijacked" the ministry in the Lord's recovery, it was actually Brother Lee himself who wanted a group of blended, faithful brothers to continue to release the burdens for all the churches during the seven gatherings annually. We are very sorrowful that in the past nine years since Brother Lee's passing, except for the times in Chicago and Cleveland, we have seen very few saints from the Midwestern part of the United States and Eastern Canada, except for some mostly from the Chicago area and nearby churches, blending with all the saints who are in the same recovery. We believe that had many saints from the many churches in your area been in one or two gatherings each year for blending and receiving the ministry of the word, the situation and relationship among all the churches with all the saints in the Lord's recovery would be much different today. Brother Lee's wisdom in caring for all the churches on the earth in this way, even though he could not join us in this matter, was obviously very much of and from the Lord. The churches in the U. S. and Canada that have faithfully received this word have no problems or dissension, but rather much gain because the basic content of the revelations in these gatherings is from the ministry of our two brothers who are with the Lord. May the Lord give us a new beginning in this matter in His recovery. We also feel that the content of the conferences and trainings that are being released have very much to do with our going on together in the Lord's move and in our living Christ for the building up of the Body of Christ. We feel that we desperately need the blending with you all plus the saints in all the churches now and in the future so that what Brother Lee spoke about regarding this matter of blending can be realized among all the churches in the Lord's recovery.
Concerning the three letters referred to above, we have to assume that as one of the signers you read the letter or letters you signed and agree with the contents or you would not have signed. However, to us, it seems that the letters were basically written by one person or a few persons from among you, although we may be wrong. Because of this, we were not altogether surprised by the content. Many of the same points have been made public in writings over the internet or on the web site www.concernedbrothers.com or printed in the publication, Fellowship Journal, out of Cleveland. These points are being answered and dealt with over the internet under the name www.afaithfulword.org. We would encourage you to read and open to the matters covered on this site, particularly the portion that shows various improper speakings by some in the Midwest. Certain brothers through this site, in fellowship, have made it clear to all that the writings above are not faithful or trustworthy. How can anyone believe in and follow another who deletes half of a sentence to change the meaning of the speaker, thus representing Brother Lee to have said the opposite of what he actually said?1 How can anyone believe in and follow another who takes a speaking on one topic and applies it to another topic later on in the message in an attempt to discredit the speaker?2 How can anyone believe in and follow another who quotes a statement of a speaker which means one thing, yet he has taken it out of its context to redefine it improperly?3 How can anyone believe in and follow another who takes a point made by Brother Lee and shared by a speaker with the saints, yet reinterprets it and seeks to defame the speaker?4 This way of writing reminds us and many of Brother Lee's co-workers of the books The Mindbenders and The God-men, which did the same thing in the authors' attempts to defame Brother Lee, the Lord's recovery, and those within it. The facts concerning these points speak for themselves. Just these few points should convince you of the untrustworthiness and unfaithfulness of the writings coming from your area and should cause you to not believe these writings, but rather to reject them for the sake of the churches as we endeavor to shepherd and care for all the saints in the churches.
The website www.afaithfulword.org was begun to counter many of the things that have been written by some brothers who are writing negatively against the move of the Lord in His recovery. The writings on the website www.concernedbrothers.com and other writings as mentioned above are dissenting to the Lord's recovery, dangerous to the Lord's recovery, and damaging to the Lord's recovery, including the saints and churches in your area. Because there are more than 250,000 saints in the Lord's recovery outside of China and many more in China, the co-workers had no option, due to the present situation, except to agree to the opening of this site, www.afaithfulword.org, lest some young, new, and simple saints be damaged and turned away from the Lord's recovery on every continent. It is most regrettable that the writings by some brothers even express disagreement with and reject certain points contained in Brother Lee's ministry and in his leading. We would implore you to beware of the results of following ones like those described in 2 Timothy 1:15, who infected and turned many away from the Apostle Paul and his ministry. As the historical record shows us, the damage to those churches was grievous and long lasting. See footnotes 1, 2, and 3 on this verse and Life-study of 2 Timothy pages 12-20. We would also implore you to beware of following those in the category described by Paul in Romans 16:17, "those who make divisions and stumblings contrary to the teaching which you have learned." Paul charges us to turn away from such ones.
As we have considered this letter and your situation, Brother Lee's words in the Life-study of John on chapter 13 regarding washing one another's feet in love has come to our mind and spirit and we would like to recommend three books by Brother Lee to you. We believe that if you will prayerfully read them all, your vision concerning God's economy, His purpose, and His move within the saints in the Lord's recovery will be uplifted. We can testify to you that the words by Brother Lee in these books have greatly uplifted our vision and burden for the Lord's move inwardly and outwardly in and through us in these days. We hope these books from messages given in May and July of 1994 will "wash your feet" in love. They are as follows: The High Peak of the Vision and the Reality of the Body of Christ, The Practical Points Concerning Blending, and Living a Life According to the High Peak of God's Revelation. Each book contains less than 50 pages of text.
Brother, you may believe that the way you are taking or feel to take in the church where you are is altogether according to the leading of Brother Lee through his ministry, but in a number of aspects the way you are taking may be foreign to the history of Brother Lee's leading in the recovery. The ministry by some that you may be receiving may seemingly be profitable in every way, yet it may possess much leaven, a damaging element to be received within the church. People among us sometimes change and some come in among us or rise up from among us to lead the saints in a direction not for the Lord's profit, but rather for loss. An example of this is different speakings from what the Lord's recovery has been built upon. Brother Lee said, "In the Lord's recovery, for the long run, we should not believe that this kind of creeping in of the different ministries would never take place. Rather, we must be on the alert. Such a peril is ahead of us. If we are not watchful, if we are careless, in one way or another, the enemy would creepingly use some means, some ways, to bring in different ministries. Such a thing would end the Lord's recovery" (Elders' Training, Book 1: The Ministry of the New Testament, p. 16). May neither you, nor we, nor anyone else among us be used by Satan to gather a flock out from the flock of the Lord's recovery anywhere on this earth (Acts 20:29-30). May none of us one day find that the way we are taking is a "sinking ship." If so, may we all find a way off this "ship" or may we fully exercise ourselves to watch, fast, and pray until a needed recovery in some matters takes place in our locality.
We also would like to recommend that you prayerfully read several small portions of books from Brother Lee's ministry. We hope these references will be a help to you, the saints, and the church in your place:
The World Situation and God's Move, pp. 36-38.
Preaching the Gospel on the College Campuses, pp. 10, 12, 13.
The Christian Life, pp. 57-58.
Life-study of Matthew, pp. 298-299, 305-306, 469-470.
Life-study of Genesis, pp. 721-725.
Life-study of Exodus, pp. 1004-1005.
Life-study of 1 Corinthians, pp. 422-423.
You can find additional helpful quotations from Brother Lee's ministry in the same vein on www.afaithfulword.org/articles/Increase.html.
Finally, as a conclusion to this letter, we want to quote the final paragraphs of the third book we recommended that you read, Living a Life According to the High Peak of God's Revelation (pp. 40-42):
"Our practice is not to live the life of any kind of natural man, good or bad. Our practice is to live the life of a God-man. A God-man is a man who is regenerated and transformed to be one with God, taking God as his life, his person, and his everything. Eventually, this one becomes God in His life and His nature, but not in His Godhead. This is a God-man. In the recovery today we should practice to live the life of such a God-man. This life is a life of crucifixion by and in and with resurrection. It is a life in which I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live but He who lives in me (Gal. 2:20). Yet when He lives in me, He lives with me, with the result that I live with Him (John 14:19). He lives with me, and I live with Him. We two live together in the way of mingling, a mingling of God and man.
"The highest family life, marriage life, and social life come out of such a life. This life is the life of the church and the life of the Body of Christ. Such a life is the reality of the Body of Christ. Such a life, like that of Jesus Christ in His thirty-three and a half years on the earth, saves us from all negative things, from small things and big things. In our marriage life it saves us from separation and divorce. In the church it saves us from opinion, division, despising, criticizing, and murmuring. In this life there is no criticism, no despising, no partiality, no division, no dissension, no opinion. In such a life we live the life of a God-man. With Him everything is new, everything is heavenly, and everything is divine, divinity mingled with humanity.
"Wherever there is division, there is spiritual fornication, idolatry, self-glorification, and self- exaltation. Without self-exaltation, there could be no division. Living the life of a God-man saves us from all these negative things. To live such a life is to live Christ (Phil. 1:21), the very model of the God-man life.
"Dear saints, this is my burden. We all need to live such a life-the older ones and the young ones, the brothers and the sisters, the elders and the common saints. If we do, we are faithful to what we have heard. Then the Lord will have not a model only by individuals but a model by a group of us. This is the model that the Lord needs to show to today's Christianity, a model of what His church should be.
"If we live such a life, surely we will go out to contact people for the preaching of the gospel. A vital group is a group of this kind of people. The vital groups should not be practiced as a formality; they should be groups of people who live such a life. Our living the life of a God-man will save people, edify others, and build up the local churches even to the building up of the Body of Christ. If we practice what we have heard, spontaneously a model will be built up. This model will be the greatest revival in the history of the church. I believe that this revival will bring the Lord back.
"In conclusion, I would encourage you to try faithfully to practice living a God-man's life by contacting Him through calling on His name, pray-reading His living word, praying unceasingly, not quenching the Spirit, and not despising prophesying. May the Lord bless us with Himself as the life-giving Spirit that we may touch Him in the mingled spirit by these life practices."
Your brothers in Christ and with you in the Lord's recovery,