The Church and the Work

Additional Quotes about the Local Church by Witness Lee and Watchman Nee

The workers in Acts had the church in Jerusalem and also the church in Antioch as their centers. As such, these churches are somewhat different than the other local churches. Watchman Nee points out:

Local churches such as those in Jerusalem and Antioch are special and exceptional because, on the one hand, they are local churches, and on the other hand, they are centers for the work. As local churches they are the same as other churches. As to the work they are also centers for the work. Therefore, we have to recognize that Jerusalem and Antioch are somewhat different from other local churches.

(Watchman Nee, Collected Works, Set 3, Vol. 51, 141)

If a problem should arise between one church and another, Watchman Nee remarks that those churches ought not to exercise supervision over each other but, instead, refer the matter to the workers or the apostles. The workers have the ground to lead other churches in their region based on their apostleship but not based on their locality. Watchman Nee states:

The church in Antioch could not have become a head church….In fact, Antioch never exercised supervision over other churches. One local church cannot exercise supervision over another church. However, the work has the right to exercise supervision over a local church. The church in Antioch never exercised supervision over another church, but the apostles who went out from Antioch did exercise supervision over other churches. When a problem arises in a local church, the matter has to be brought to the attention of the workers. First Timothy 5:19 indicates that an accusation against an elder must be accompanied by the word of two or three witnesses. An accusation could not be based on rumors or hearsay; there had to be witnesses, and the accusations had to be presented to Timothy. Timothy was a worker. Therefore, he could deal with the problem of the elders in a locality. Antioch was only one local church. Jerusalem was also another local church. As far as being a church is concerned, the question of a head church does not exist. But as far as the work is concerned, it is something different.

(Watchman Nee, Collected Works, Set 3, Vol. 57, 73-74)















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