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Old 12-23-2016, 07:27 AM   #91
Grateful Servant
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,179
Default Comments on The One Publication by Philip van Dijk

Former Local Church member, Philip van Dijk of the Netherlands, recently produced this polemic regarding the One Publication Document.

By Philip van Dijk
21 December 2016

The blended brothers of Living Stream Ministry's fixation with using only one publication, only one evangelistic method, only one gold bar translation i.e. the Recovery Version of the Bible etc. as a testimony for others outside the Lord's Recovery had becoming increasingly clearer in my mind and in my spirit after reading through their document at
The following words are found in Paul's and Sosthenes' first letter to the Corinthians:
'... Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different results, but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all ...' (NET)
From the above mentioned passage these brothers revealed that there are different ministries (i.e. kinds of service) within the body of Christ and not that there is only one ministry as claimed within the above mentioned document.
The New Covenant Scriptures are completely silent concerning what believers publish in writing regarding their one faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
After rereading the document, I was immediately struck by the following texts, that had not struck me the first time when I had read it, as being indeed seriously questionable:
'... In a meeting with the brothers to whom he committed the responsibility for Living Stream Ministry, Brother Lee said, “My burden is for the recovery based on the interpretation of Brother Nee and me. I am the continuation of Brother Nee; I would like to have a continuation of me, and this needs a corporation ... The Living Stream corporation will continue this ministry” (from unpublished notes of a meeting of Living Stream, July 12, 1996). He placed the direction of this corporation for the continuation and publication of the ministry in the hands of a group of blended brothers, who labor to fulfill this charge before the Lord ...'
'... In every way, this practice of passing everything that we publish through a discerning check is best for all of us and best for the sounding of the one trumpet in the Lord’s recovery today …'

(1) What really bugged me after rereading the document was: Where is the Headship and the Lordship of our Lord Jesus Christ Himself in this specific recovery if it truly belongs to Him and Him alone?
(2) If the Lord's Recovery is, as our brother Witness Lee claims, nothing more than a burden based on an interpretation of Watchman Nee and himself, then is this recovery maybe nothing more than another institutional denomination, something this recovery of the Lord vehemently sought to depart from in the first place?
(3) Isn't an institutional denomination just another word for a corporation with a religious agenda and (a) human founder(s) other than Jesus Christ Himself?
(4) So, if all literature published by Living Stream Ministry is the sounding of the one and only trumpet for this present-day Lord's Recovery, are these 2 entities then not one and the same thing in reality?

There were more comments about the document that seemed more intriguing and insightful than I had previously thought:
'... He [Watchman Nee] asked me to help in the publication work. I [Witness Lee] did write some books, among which were a book on the genealogy of Christ, a translation of part of Pember's Earth's Earliest Ages, and some books on the kingdom of the heavens. I [Witness Lee] never published anything by myself ...'

Isn't Witness Lee only stating the obvious by claiming that he never published anything by himself? Watchman Nee had actually asked him to help with the publication work in the first place! Aren't these just basic circular statements?

'... I [Witness Lee] always mailed my manuscript to the Gospel Room, which was under Brother Nee and his helper. It was up to their discernment whether my manuscript should be published or not. I [Witness Lee] liked to have my writings checked as to whether there might be some inaccuracy in the truth. It is not a small matter to write a book that expounds the kingdom of the heavens. I liked my material to pass through their [Watchman Nee and brother Yu] checking. This helped and protected me. Brother Yu, the eye specialist, translated some of the mystical books, but he did not publish anything ...'

Here again, Witness Lee seems to be making more and more circular statements, for want of a better terminology. By mentioning that he (Witness Lee) then mailed manuscripts to Watchman Nee and brother Yu, because it was really Watchman Nee's publication, then claiming that he (Witness Lee) liked to have his contribution to the publication work checked because they (Watchman Nee and/or brother Yu) did not just publish anything etc. ...

'... We only had one publication. Everything was published through Brother Nee's Gospel Room because the publication is really the trumpeting. The sounding of our trumpet is not just in the verbal message but more in the publication. It bothers me that some brothers among us still put out publications ...'

Suddenly the publication work had become something far more than a publication work alone: It had become the sounding of a trumpet! Witness Lee even mentions that their (Watchman Nee's and Witness Lee's) trumpeting of the apostles' teaching had more prominence than their verbal speaking of the apostles' teaching.

But wait a minute, didn't Paul, Silvanus and Timothy mention in their first letter to the Thessalonians and didn't Paul and Sosthenes also mention in their first letter to the Corinthians
'... For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first ...' and '... in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed …' (NET)
that any trumpeting would be God's trumpeting when the Lord Jesus Christ returns for collecting His beautiful bride for Himself?

Regarding the previously cited sentence within the document:
'... In every way, this practice of passing everything that we publish through a discerning check is best for all of us and best for the sounding of the one trumpet in the Lord’s recovery today ...'

Are we having to make a choice between:
(1) the sounding of the trumpet as legislated by Living Stream Ministry and
(2) the sounding of the trumpet of God when the Lord returns for His beautiful bride?

Also, regarding the sounding of a trumpet mentioned in Paul's and Sosthenes' first letter to the Corinthians:
'... Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I help you unless I speak to you with a revelation or with knowledge or prophecy or teaching? It is similar for lifeless things that make a sound, like a flute or harp. Unless they make a distinction in the notes, how can what is played on the flute or harp be understood? If, for example, the trumpet makes an unclear sound, who will get ready for battle? It is the same for you. If you do not speak clearly with your tongue, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air. There are probably many kinds of languages in the world, and none is without meaning. If then I do not know the meaning of a language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. It is the same with you. Since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, seek to abound in order to strengthen the church ...' (NET)

Yet, the context of the trumpet in the above mentioned passage seems to be conveying that:
(1) just as believers are to understand (with their mind and their spirit) when a revelation, knowledge a prophecy or a teaching is being spoken, so too
(2) a harp and a flute needs to produce a distinctive note or melody and
(3) a trumpet needs to make a clear sound so that an army understands when to prepare for war.

Therefore, the clear sounding of a trumpet in this context does not seem to convey that the saints are called to be restricted to one ministry or even to one publication for that matter!
Even the word teaching in the above mentioned context is being referred to as a teaching that is to be understood and not that the oneness of the teaching itself is implied in this instance.

'... According to my [Witness Lee] truthful observation there is no new light or life supply there. They may contain some biblical doctrines, but any point of life or light has been adopted from the publications of Living Stream Ministry. There is nearly no item of life or light that has not been covered by our publications [Isn't this just a presumption?]. Based upon this fact, what is the need for these brothers to put out their publications? [Are we not free in Christ to do so?] Because all the publications are mine [So, it's really about ownership then?], it is hard for me to speak such a word. But I am forced to tell the truth. By putting out your own publication, you waste your time and money. You waste the money given by the saints, and you waste their time in reading what you publish. Where is the food, the life supply, and the real enlightenment in the other publications among us? [This is really going quite far, isn't it?] Be assured that there is definitely at least one major revelation in every Living Stream Ministry publication [Isn't this just a presumption?] .... If the Lord can gain ten thousand saints in the United States to go full-time with one kind of teaching, one kind of preaching, one kind of material, one kind of publication, one kind of way, and everything one kind, this will be our morale! The wise way is that we all take the full-time way and speak the same thing, think the same thing, present the same thing, and teach the same thing, having the same essence, appearance and expression. Then we will have the morale, the impact, to defeat the enemy. [Is this of the same essence regarding the oneness of the Spirit that Jesus prayed for before His crucifixion and which Paul appealed to in his letter to the Ephesians?] This is what the Lord needs! ...' [Witness Lee, Elders' Training, Book 8: The Life-pulse of the Lord's Present Move, pp. 161-164, 123-127]

What I have come to establish for myself is that in literally everything where one shared one's life in Christ, ministered His life with others etc. in the fellowship, one had to have it routinely filtered through the writings of Living Stream Ministry.
This filtering system had become the ultimate lockdown for me and eventually explained for me why my own previous attempts at discussing organic body life in Christ outside this filtering system were not being answered or were answered by answers such as '… go and read Witness Lee's Recovery Version footnotes, his Life Studies etc. about this …'
These dear fellow saints in the Lord's Recovery seem to have little individual conviction on what the Scriptures are revealing to themselves, but more specifically on the pertinent issues that I had questions on. This probably explains their regular reliance on the writings of Living Stream Ministry for having it revealed to them instead.

Philip van Dijk
Skype: philipvdijk
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Philip van Dijk paper.pdf (153.9 KB, 258 views)
Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21)
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