Many years ago, I came across Nee's many books and thought, “This man seems to be a deep Christian and has so much to say. It seems he has a powerful relationship with the Lord and has analyzed the spiritual man and his development - but is he right?”
As a new believer, I knew a medical doctor, Lorne Rabuka, who proudly professed faith in Christ and was the Adult Sunday School teacher at a Missionary Alliance church I was attending. He was quite taken up with Nee's concepts. I was impressed with Lorne, but I didn't have the least attraction to Nee's doctrine.
Now Lorne didn't have the Spirit of God, so how could he so enjoy Nee's teachings unless they were intellectual and appealed to the flesh? The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge to make a man wise?
“That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination to God.”
“Do not be turned away by different strange teachings, because it is good for your hearts to be made strong by grace, and not by meats, which were of no profit to those who took so much trouble over them” (Hebrews 13:9 BBE).
Nearly 2 years later, my wife and I received the Spirit (see The Baptism in the Holy Spirit
. As a result, there was no longer any fellowship with Lorne or those at the Alliance Church who opposed the Spirit and gifts. By His Spirit, the Lord was giving us to better know the difference between good and evil, truth and error.
We then came together with a friend who had most of Nee's books and was quite taken with Nee, as well. He reveled in that knowledge descriptive of the spiritual realm. However, I still wasn't attracted to Nee, nor was my wife. Seeking after the Lord, as we did concerning many preachers, movements and matters, He revealed to me that Watchman Nee was not of Him.
Watchman Nee was an intellectual spiritual exhibitionist, a showoff, and worse, he was full of self-righteousness and revelling in it, in effect, a sorcerer in the Name of the Lord, using truths and feigning holiness. Nee was a self-made hero, a modern day Baal.
Your statement of him, if true, bears witness to what I say:
“Nee taught that we have to be ever sensitive to the 'revealing' of the Spirit's will in our spirit and move from that.
That is an expression of pure, abominable self-righteousness. “See how sensitive I am to the Spirit,” he proclaims. The man was a peacock in perpetual fanning. And saints know they're looking at the backside.
Yes, Nee suffered great persecution; he was imprisoned; I understand he even had his tongue cut out by the authorities because he refused to stop “witnessing” and “preaching the Gospel,” but not because he was a true witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He bore witness by his own will and in his own power. He wasn't working with Jesus as Jesus worked with the Father.
Of such the Lord said:
Matthew 7:21-23 LITV
(21) Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven.
(22) Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name cast out demons, and in Your Name do many works of power?
(23) And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; "depart from Me, those working lawlessness!" Psa. 6:8
Mike, the Kingdom of Heaven isn't about doctrine, intellectual theory or carnal knowledge of Scripture, but about a relationship with the Lord; it's about obeying, loving, knowing Him and He knowing the one who believes. That is the true faith.
The question now is, “Why are YOU deceived or impressed by Watchman Nee?”
Now consider Smith Wigglesworth.
“Wigglesworth would always pray and ask the Father what he should do in all circumstances and when God would show him Smith would make it happen in "Jesus name".
Wigglesworth seems like a close cousin (if not brother) to Nee, as one presuming and boasting to be an expert “Spirit Senser.” He may not have verbalized the same way as Nee, but his actions speak the same language. He also is similar to the “Word of Faith” preacher you mention, Andrew Wommack. Wigglesworth is another “name it and claim it” advocate, not being as God's son God's way, but as God his own way, punching and kicking people to cast out devils and forcing his will in general “in the Name of the Lord.”
Isn't independence of God what the serpent offered Eve and which the kings of Babylon and Tyre coveted (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28)? Isn't there a subtle difference between the true and the false? Perhaps you can more explicitly point out the difference to us.
Yes, there are many occasions when the spiritual pilgrim in Christ seeks God for answers. However, what you express here concerning Nee and Wigglesworth seems to be something akin to man being the initiator and even “initiating God” for his own will and pleasure. This would then be presumption and not faith. It would be playing God, not trusting Him - trusting in one self to do the will of God when it is supposed to be God causing us to will and to do. Such is anti-Christ.
Were there signs and wonders? So it's reported with Wigglesworth. So what? Indians were healed by unbelieving Spanish explorers because of soulish faith.
Mike, if it were possible to deceive the elect, the serpent will do it. He is subtle. There's only one thing he won't or can't imitate, and that's the cross. He will not sacrifice himself for this world; otherwise this world is no longer of any value to him.
You write of the Lord Jesus Christ, “He says we must receive God's will by prayer first then when we have peace regarding our requests then we can speak to the situation and will have to obey.
Yes, Jesus spoke of seeking and asking, but I don't find doctrine anywhere in the Bible quite as you seem to suggest, in terms of always having to ask specifically about matters (perhaps it's a choice of words). We can see several examples of where men were given to know God's will without, or other than by, prayer. You're right that we need to hear His voice and be obedient, but comes a time when hearing His voice comes without striving in asking. It is a matter of nature, faith being the key. When we believe, we're free and know what's required of us, delighting to do His will.
“The Bible can be a very dangerous book. We have the ability in our own will to read something and then try to make it happen when it first has to be revealed in our spirits before it is from God.
I hear you. We're so inclined to carnal interpretations, but by God's grace. Trying to fulfill the letter as we understand it intellectually is folly. Sons of God will be led of the Spirit. And Peter spoke of how many didn't understand Paul's letters and wrested his teachings to their destruction.
You quote Wigglesworth, ““The remarkable position of every soul is to be so inhabited by Jesus as to become a living personality of God's ideal Son.”
If Smith was speaking of God doing the work (we're His workmanship), true. The saints have a glorious privilege and calling, no question. However, if Smith speaks of our trying to be spiritual as Nee worked at being spiritual in his own right, then again, we have the anti-Christ spirit substituting for God's work and in effect, stealing His glory. I'm not sure which he meant to be communicating in that statement. Do you know, Mike? Nevertheless we do see his fruits, which speak loudest.
Our lot as saints is a battle between spirit and flesh, light and darkness, truth and error, faith and unbelief, and good and evil.
Victor and Paul