Home in the church

The Church in Spokane


  

Testimonies

Title Author
It Changed my Life! J.S.
God’s Heart’s Desire: the Church Life in My Locality L.E.
Finding the Meaning of my Human Life E.S.
Once we were Blind, but now we See Mr. and Mrs. J. W.
My Life with Christ in the Local Church M.B.
X-ray Vision R.C.
Knowing Christ Objectively and Subjectively S.L.
The Joy and Rejoicing of My Heart J.G.
Finding Christ in His Word J.J.
Pursuing Christ in the Word and in the Church Life J.C.
Coming out of a Coma Jin Blair
A Promise Made Long Ago Barbara Rubin
Finding the Purpose of my Christian Life Becky Mogensen
To Know Him is to Love Him Jim Mogensen
Christ as my Supply Johnny Mont˙far
I am Home Jack Mogensen
Satisfied at Last M.L.
Captivated by the Enjoyment of Christ Esther Mont˙far
My Growth in Christ Arlette Mont˙far
The Bible—an Open Book Spencer Clawson
Captivated by Enjoyment Lorenzo Mont˙far
The Reality of Christ in my Daily Life Marilyn Somner
Satisfied Kathy Kalles
I Found the Answer! Anonymous
Finding God’s Will and Heart’s Desire Paula Kramer
In My Daddy’s Arms Darryl Rawlins
Being Filled with the Holy Spirit Diane Hooper
My Search is Over B.L.
Christ is not Divided Anonymous
A Blessing and a Privilege Rachel Kilgren
The God of Glory Appeared Erick Kilgren
I Found the Lord’s Address Denise Harms
Filled and Satisfied Jacquie Kilgren
The Christian Life: a Matter of Eating Gail Harding-Thomas
Born of the Spirit to Walk by the Spirit Rachel Wang
Enjoying Christ Day by Day Nelly Mont˙far
An Answered Prayer Doug Dean
From Sorrow to Joy Jan-Jan Wu
Of God Who Shows Mercy J.A.
Our Experience of Jesus Christ as Grace in the church life R. & E. Stepper


It Changed my Life!


As an unbeliever I lived life to what I thought was the fullest, because when you die—that’s it.

At the age of 23 I received Christ as my life. I was so happy to find out that Christ could now be the center of my life and spontaneously I began to love Him and enjoy Him. All I thought about was how wonderful my Lord was. It was as though I was on fire and had a burning love for the Lord. I strongly desired fellowship with believers and sought to surround myself with Christians. As a result of my desire I quit my job to take on a new job to be in the center of a Christian activity. Within a few months I was fully disappointed with where I found myself. In the midst of Christian brothers and sisters—some strong, some weak, some leaders, some not—I found no fellowship to feed my inner desire for more of Christ Himself. Nothing fed me inwardly to help me to love the Lord more or to grow in His life more—and actually the burning desire I had inside was now gone.

At this juncture I turned away from Christ in extreme disappointment and began to live my old way of life.

Shortly after this time I started a new job and worked with some sisters in the Lord who invited me to a meeting of the church in Spokane. I was very reluctant to go and become involved with something that could eventually be disappointing again—but I did go.

It changed my life! I began to love the Lord again, just like I had experienced at my salvation. The Lord was and still is my first love, the Bible was so full of reality and light, and I was brought into deeper and fuller experiences of Christ Himself.

So here I am now, 20 years later, and I’ve never been so happy. My Christian life is more than fulfilling because day by day my growth in Christ is increasing through an intimate touch with Him and through living, practical fellowship with the Body of Christ.

J.S.
Back To Top

God’s Heart’s Desire: the Church Life in My Locality


I was born in Beijing, China and became a Christian when my family moved to Hong Kong. There I was saved through a minister of a Baptist denomination. At the time I got baptized the minister told me that my destiny was to go to Heaven, even if I did not behave myself and do good things. Eventually, because I did not know the true meaning behind being a Christian, nor the purpose of God, I drifted back into the world. I do not mean the low or shameful things of this world, but the glitter and glamour of this present evil age, including things such as fashion, sports, entertainment, amusement, clubs, and religion. So outwardly I went to meetings every Sunday in the Baptist denomination, but inside of me I did not have any interest and there was no reality. I did not know the Lord intimately, but I knew He had something more to offer than what I’d seen.

I came to the U. S. in 1984 and eventually ended up in a four-year nursing program. At that point in my life I was going through a difficult time and thought that I would have to go back to Hong Kong when I graduated from the program; but I soon realized I would not be able to do that because my daughter had been born in the U. S., and was only 18 months old. So I studied hard at school, but at the same time, was really depressed and saw no hope to change my predicament. I was so overwhelmed by my environment that I could not get along by myself. It was at this time in my life I met some Christians in my nursing class. They were always happy and smiling. I was attracted to them because of their expression. Eventually they invited me to a Christian meeting and told me that they met as the church in Spokane. They were genuine born again Christians. I went to my first meeting of the local church in March of 1988. Right away I was attracted to their gathering. It was very living and enjoyable. Every member of the congregation was given the opportunity to stand up and give a testimony or pray if they were led of the Lord. I had been saved for more than ten years, but had never seen anything like this. Everyone was real, genuine, and happy. I deeply sensed that God was present there. I sat listening and was in such awe I could not hold back my tears, which flowed out like a steady stream throughout the entire meeting. I could not identify with this because I had never really shed tears before, even when I went through severe hardships in my life. These tears were not due to sorrow, but they flowed because I had found, once again, that which was precious to me—God’s presence. The members introduced me to some of Witness Lee’s books. I was shocked over how much this man knew the Bible, God, the Spirit, the human spirit, Christ, life, and the church. The thing that amazed me over and over was that he made all the spiritual truths real, practical, and experiential. I was never drawn to Witness Lee himself, or the so-called “local church” movement. I was attracted to the Lord Jesus, and I know Him much more than before, through reading books written by Witness Lee and attending meetings with the local church.

I really appreciate the last ten years of my life. They have become precious to me. The Bible has been opened and I enjoy reading through the New Testament at least once a year. The Word is so delicious! My Christian life is full of meaning, faith, hope, peace, joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit. Rom. 14:17 became my daily experience. In particular, I praise the Lord that my daughter eventually got saved when she was seven years old. God has graciously continued to keep her from the world. Currently she is 13 years old, and is an honor student in school. She loves attending Bible studies with many other young people meeting with the church in Spokane. What can I say but praise the Lord for His mercy!

L.E.
Back To Top

Finding the Meaning of my Human Life


After receiving the Lord at age 19, I struggled to find the meaning of my salvation and even the purpose of my human life. Why did God create me and what did He save me for? Although I was a Christian, I didn’t have the inner peace and joy I knew I should. By the Lord’s mercy, after about three years, I came to realize I didn’t have a living experience of Christ and hungered for more than just trying to be a “good” Christian.

It was not long after this, while attending a University that I met a dear Christian in my dental hygiene class. She introduced me to the publications of Living Stream Ministry. I thank and praise the Lord each day for this ministry, for through it I have found in the Bible the purpose of my life and most importantly, the reason for my salvation.

Through the ministry of both Witness Lee and Watchman Nee, I have been brought into a much richer, deeper experience of Christ. Everything in this ministry has pointed me to Christ and how to take this lovely One as my life and everything. Also, through this ministry I have been brought to love the Lord more than I ever thought possible and am learning to overcome all the many distractions that prevent me from gaining this Wonderful Christ. I have NEVER been pointed to any other person or thing, but solely to Christ. To me it is clear that to know this One was the only goal of both Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.

By the Lord’s mercy, I found that when I was saved I became a member of the church. I didn’t have to try to figure out which denomination was right. As a genuine believer I was a living member of the one Body of Christ! It has been nearly three years since I began meeting with the church in Spokane and I do not regret a single day. God’s heart’s desire is to have a living expression on the earth today and for me to divide myself from this Body would be to cut myself off from my Lord’s Body and thus His expression. I praise the Lord for so many dear brothers who were willing to stand for the Lord’s testimony on this earth and who were willing to spend and be spent so that the Lord’s Body could be recovered back to God’s original intention—the meeting of the church in each locality for the universal building up of the Body of Christ, so that Christ would have a living expression on this earth.

Without such faithful ones, I would still be an aimless Christian longing to know what this life in me is for. By God’s mercy, I will spend the rest of my days in the church, meeting in whichever locality I may be in, feasting on the unsearchable riches of Christ so that Ephesians 3:17-19 may continue to be my reality: “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are and to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God…to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all the generations forever and ever. Amen!”

E.S.
Back To Top

Once we were Blind, but now we See


My wife and I have been married for four years. We came into the church life shortly before we were married. We are both 24 years old. We both received the Lord in our pre-teen years. Throughout the years before we came into contact with the local churches, we had both met with multiple Christian groups either by ourselves or with members of our families. We very much found ourselves dissatisfied and were looking for outward signs of some sort to substantiate our faith in God.

Through the Lord’s sovereignty we came into contact with a sister who was meeting with the local church and began to have home meetings in her home. Meeting after meeting we were brought into an experience of Christ that we never considered possible. We were impressed, not only with the words that were spoken, but also with the living testimony of the ones we were meeting with. Before entering into such a church life, God was not real enough to us to affect our daily living.

We realized that we were vessels created by God, but full of dirty water. Through the speaking and encouragement of these dear believers, we were brought to see that it is not a matter of us trying to get rid of our dirty water, but of just coming to the Lord again and again, just as we are, to receive the dispensing of His life, the fresh water. And it is by the dispensing of the Lord’s life that this dirty water is displaced, our vessel is washed, and there is an overflow of the Lord’s life that is being added into us and flowing out to others.

Through coming into contact with the ones meeting as the church in Spokane we have come to know the Lord in a sweet and intimate way. We feel very privileged to know at such a young age that God has a purpose, not just for us individually but for all men on earth. We are so happy to be with ones who love the Lord and are seeking to satisfy His heart’s desire in this age.

Mr. and Mrs. J. W.
Back To Top

My Life with Christ in the Local Church


I grew up with both of my parents being Christians, and we attended services once a week, but the Lord was not mentioned in our home. I was saved through a youth group when I was 15 or 16. However, even though I went to a Christian college, I soon went my own way, living out my life according to my interests and my plans. This gave no joy to the Lord or to me. At age 28 I was very discouraged with my human life.

Then I was brought to a meeting of the church in Spokane, which in a very real way was the beginning of my Christian life. As I continued going to the meetings of the local church over the next months, I began to know a peace and happiness I had never known before. I felt that I was home at last.

My enjoyment of Christ in the local church has continued to grow over the years. I am very satisfied worshipping Christ with fellow believers according to the Bible. Watchman Nee and Witness Lee really made the Bible clear to me. Even after 20 years, the meetings and my times with the Lord keep getting better.

M.B.
Back To Top

X-ray Vision


At the age of 15 I had a very definite hunger to know Christ in a real and personal way. This, I believe, was due to the prayers and godly influences of my grandmothers. Because of this hunger, I would at times ask my mother why it seemed that none of the “typical high school things” interested me. I felt as if I had “x-ray vision” and could see through the facade of what the world had to offer. Fashion, straight “A’s” and various social activities didn’t satisfy the craving in my being for something eternal. “He has planted eternity in man’s heart (a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun, but only God, can satisfy)” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, Amplified Version).

It was a pleasant surprise when a high school friend invited me to a gospel meeting of the church in Spokane. Here I met believers in Christ who were experiencing Christ and enjoying the Word of God in their daily lives. The meetings were full of the presence of the Lord. This made it very easy for me to begin to enter into a practical and personal touch with the Lord in my daily life.

It now has been 26 years since I began to meet with the local church in Spokane. I can testify that the desire that God put in my heart to know Him at age 15 has been deeply satisfied. Every year, the Lord has become richer and sweeter in my experience. I believe He has been able to yearly strengthen me into my inner man and make His home in my heart (Ephesians 3:16-17).

R.C.
Back To Top

Knowing Christ Objectively and Subjectively


I have been a Christian for 20 years, and came to the local church 13 years ago. I was hungry to experience the Word more.

Then, I came to the local church. I saw Christ not only objectively but also subjectively—the believers there had one goal, Christ with nothing else added. To me it was quite a display of Christ and what comes out of Christ—the Church.

Objectively, I saw the truth that I had a spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Subjectively, I began to experience being one spirit with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17). Oh what a joy to live in spirit and fellowship with the Lord.

S.L.
Back To Top

The Joy and Rejoicing of My Heart


I am a 40 year old Physical Education teacher, who was born and raised here in Spokane, Washington. My wife, Jill, and I have been married and have served the Lord in the local church for the past 17 years. We have two teenage children who are honor students in the Spokane public schools.

My first contact with the writings of both Watchman Nee and Witness Lee was in October of 1978. It was then that I first received the Lord and was saved through a former classmate of mine who was meeting with the church in Spokane. For the first time in my life I was hungry and eager to read the Bible. One of my favorite verses was Psalm 119: 103 which reads: “Thy words are sweeter than honey to my taste, yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” The Lord showed me this verse, and so many others, through reading some of the smaller booklets written by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. How I loved reading those booklets!

As the years have passed by, the ministry of these two servants of God has been a tremendous strengthening to both my Christian life, and human life. Any desire I have to seek after the Lord; any longing that I have for ones to “be saved and come to the full knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4); any amount of love and shepherding that I can render to the brothers and sisters in the church life; and any fulfillment of my responsibility as a Christian husband and father, are a direct result of being continually nourished with the Word of God and the ministry of these two brothers. Oh, what a joy it is to meet the Lord each day through His Word! Using the Recovery Version with all of the study notes, I am brought into touch with the living Word day by day. Also, what a pleasure it is to meet with those who “call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22) in the healthy local church.

Truly, the publications of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee have helped me to daily find Christ through His Word as “the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16).

J.G.
Back To Top

Finding Christ in His Word


I am from Spokane, Washington. I find it a privilege to write my experience of coming to know Christ through His word, the Bible. During the first years of my Christian life I found it very difficult to understand the Bible. I eventually limited my reading mainly to the four gospels. However, there came a day when I met some Christians who really knew the Bible. It did not seem to matter what question was posed or what page was opened; these Christians always had something to say that caused me to appreciate Christ. How did they know the Bible so well? How did they know the Lord so well? Soon I learned their secret.

These Christians’ secret was in their reading books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. They invited me to read a section with them and my first reaction was “Let’s just read the Bible.” We did read the Bible, and a portion from a book by Witness Lee. After that day I began to read both the Bible and the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. I found my love for the Lord kindled every time I sat down to read.

Also, within a short time, through these authors I discovered the Bible to be a book that has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The entire Bible, every book, every chapter, and every verse within it makes sense. God has a purpose. God has a way to carry out His purpose. I have found the meaning of my human life, and even of my daily life. It is all wrapped up with the wonderful person of Christ who is portrayed throughout this book, the Bible.

J.J.
Back To Top

Pursuing Christ in the Word and in the Church Life


I would like to share the testimony of my enjoyment of Christ in the local church. I was brought up by godly parents who were missionaries. By the Lord’s mercy I was saved as a young boy. As I grew up I started seeking after the Lord. In 1976, when I was a senior in high school, I moved with my family to Huntington Beach, California and came into contact with believers meeting there as the church in Huntington Beach. Since 1977 I have been meeting with the local churches, first in Huntington Beach, then in Costa Mesa, and since 1980 in Spokane, Washington.

Throughout my upbringing I always had a profound reverence for the Bible, considering it to be the infallible word of God. This view of the Bible has only been strengthened in my time in the local church. I love the Word of God, treasuring it more than my necessary food. I am nourished and strengthened by the Word. The Word of God is my unique and sole authority. I just care for what is in the Bible. I try to let everything of my tradition and background go and just cleave to the Word of God.

The Word of God I enjoy is not one of dead letters. Paul said that the letter kills but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). It is indeed a tragedy if I come to the Bible and yet miss the One of Whom the scriptures speak. This happened to the Jews in the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry. They searched the scriptures but were unwilling to come to Christ that they might have life (John 5:39-40). The scriptures point to Christ and it is ultimately Christ that I seek after. Like Mary in Luke 10 I choose the good part which shall not be taken away from me. To know Christ, to pursue after Him, to be conformed to Him, and to be transformed into His image is my heart-felt desire and what I am entering into.

In this context I would like to say a word concerning the ministry of brother Witness Lee. Through this brother, the Lord has had a way to unveil the depths of His Word to me. Witness Lee’s speaking and writing have proven to be a consistent interpretation and faithful unfolding of divine revelation contained in the Holy Word. His ministry emphasizes the crucial contents of the Divine Word, focusing on life, light, truth, Christ, the spirit, the church and ultimately on the revelation concerning the divine economy of God. Witness Lee’s ministry, drawn from his deep experiences of Christ and released so livingly from his spirit, has caused a response over and over in my spirit. Throughout the years, as line after line of the scriptures has been expounded by him, the response in my spirit to the light and revelation has been overwhelming. His ministry has caused me to seek the Lord in His Word until the day dawns and the morning star arises in my heart (2 Peter 1:19).

Finally, I would like to say that in the local church I have been ushered into the experience of Christ in a corporate way. In my years in the local church I have been surrounded by fellow believers who all share the aspiration of pursuing after Christ and being built up together in the divine life. We are one body in Christ and individually members one of another (Romans 12:5). We are pursuing not just in an individual way but with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22). Song of Songs 1:4 says “Draw me, we will run after thee.” As the Lord draws us, we need others to seek after the Lord with us. How I love the local church with all of the brothers and sisters pursuing after the Lord together!

J.C.
Back To Top

Coming out of a Coma


I was saved in Korea after resisting the Lord for 10 years. A year later I met my husband, got married and came to the United States. Because my husband was in the Air Force, we were living on a military base and were very active in the base chapel. Since the Lord had brought me to the United States, I told Him to delay His second coming and give me enough time to pursue my purpose and enjoy what the US would offer. As time went on I realized human life is the same here as in any other place and man’s basic joy and satisfaction come from the Lord alone. At the same time, I was increasingly sickened by the politics, social nature, and worldly mixture of the group with which we were meeting. I started to cry to my husband to find a Christian group that would only fellowship about the Lord and nothing else.

One evening, in our desperation, we knelt down together and prayed, “Lord, should we stay where we are or should we go somewhere? If we go, how shall we pick where to go? Lord, lead us to the church.” A few days later a couple with whom we had been having a Bible study were invited by some friends to a conference given by the local church in Spokane. They asked us to go along. In that meeting many Christian brothers and sisters stood and shared their experiences and enjoyment of the Lord. As I was listening, all the spiritual senses which had been planted in me when I was saved began to return. I had gradually lost them over the years and had been unable to recover them. I was coming out of a spiritual coma! The speaking and the atmosphere of the meeting awakened my inner being! I was hearing and seeing and touching the spiritual things again! Fresh love for the Lord, the desire to read the Bible and to speak for the Lord, and much more, was coming back.

Through the sharing of all the members in the meetings as well as from reading the books of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee we saw God’s eternal purpose—to build a corporate expression of Himself by dispensing Himself into His chosen and redeemed vessels. What could we do when we glimpsed such a heavenly vision? We abandoned our plan for my husband to become a youth minister and Bible teacher in the warm South and consecrated ourselves and our future to the Lord to be built and knit together with others as the local church in Spokane to be a testimony of Jesus.

We experience inward joy and satisfaction by responding to the Lord’s calling in this age to be prepared for His return so He can close this age and bring in the Kingdom age. I thank the Lord for His precious death on the cross which saved me from my sin and I worship the Lord for the Spirit’s operation in my heart to bring me and to show me His purpose.

Jin Blair
Back To Top

A Promise Made Long Ago


Isaiah 52:7, 12, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation. Who says to Zion ‘Your God reigns’ for you shall not go out in haste, and you shall not go in flight, for the Lord will go before you and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”

Oh, how beautiful are these words! The Jews awaited their Messiah, but when He came they knew Him not. As a Jew, I believed that the Old Testament was a history of my people. Those such as Abraham, Moses, David, and Solomon were heroes. I did not know God’s plan, and that the Old Testament was His story. I did not know that I was predestinated to be a son of God before time began, that my own time would come when I would accept His Spirit into mine.

One time, I was very ill, and called “JESUS” over and over again. If not for Him, I would have died. When I recovered I forgot Him, but He did not forget me! He waited patiently for me all those years.

Four years ago, I began having a feeling that there was a large empty space inside of me. I began having dreams that spoke to me of Jesus. I asked questions of believers I worked with. One Christian sister, in particular, spoke about Christ to me many times. I wanted to have her joy and peace. One evening at the sister’s home, I surrendered myself to Him and was saved. I then started to meet with the local church, and since then I have moved from the joy of my personal salvation to the joy of being one with other believers. Through these believers’ testimony and the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, I have come to understand God's plan. I have come to love the Lord above everything else and treasure every moment with Him. I thank Him for having given us these two brothers to open up God’s plan.

Barbara Rubin
Back To Top

Finding the Purpose of my Christian Life


How can I experience the Lord in a constant way? How can I know Him in a real and living way? What is the goal of the Christian life? What am I supposed to be doing here on earth as a Christian? Where is a place where Christians are living in oneness? These were the questions I had as a fifteen-year-old girl. I had grown up in a Christian home, for which I am very grateful. My parents led me to receive the Lord as my Savior when I was nine years old, but at fifteen I had these questions for which I was seeking answers.

Through various circumstances the Lord brought me, one evening, to a meeting of the local church in Spokane. In that meeting John 10:10 became alive to me. “I am come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” Many were giving their testimonies of how this abundant life isn’t material blessings but is the very divine and eternal life of God which we as believers possess and can enjoy. The lights came on in my being and through the meeting I realized that I don’t have to wait until I die, but that I can enjoy this eternal life now. The more I enjoy this life, the more it will transform me and the more I will discover that this life is an abundant supply in my daily living.

As I began to meet with the believers in the local church, I was very impressed with their lives. They all had normal jobs, like nursing or teaching. I could see that Christ was really their Lord in all of their daily living, at home and at work. This really attracted me. Most of all I noticed they were of such one accord. They didn’t have certain conditions for receiving me or one another. Their focus was Christ Himself and how to contact Him as the life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45b) and experience Him in our human spirit (John 4:24). Through their speaking, my eyes were opened by the Lord to see that as there is only one Body of Christ, that oneness has to be and can be practical in many local churches all over the earth.

I noticed they had books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. I had read The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. I was very happy to find out that there were a lot more books and that Watchman Nee and Witness Lee were coworkers who were fully given to the Lord to minister for the building up of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). When I read their books, I discovered that all the puzzles in the Bible were fully put together. Everything was made clear by their ministry in the light of God’s eternal plan. The center of His plan is that our Triune God wants to have a corporate group of people to receive, contain and express His divine eternal life. I discovered that everything I thought I needed to wait for, I can experience and enjoy now.

Becky Mogensen
Back To Top

To Know Him is to Love Him


As a youth growing up on a farm, I was aware that God existed by observing the outward manifestation of His creation around me. Since I only knew of Him objectively as the Almighty Creator, much of my living was an outward religious behavior of striving to be good and to do good, which usually resulted in frustration and disappointment. According to my own reasoning I thought that being good was the mandate for entering heaven.

Later, after entering college, I came to know this Creator as my Lord and Savior by accepting and receiving Him into my spirit. What followed was a joy, peace, and a rest during this crucial interval of my life, but it quickly disappeared in a short time as I attempted to live a perfect and proper Christian life. Once more I plunged into the disappointing and discouraging realm of self-effort. Inside me was a seeking for something satisfying and real which could not be found in many good Christian activities, even in becoming a missionary to serve the Lord, which I did. Surely this was the best thing a person could do for God, I thought. Through a series of failures I was enlightened by the Lord’s mercy that my endeavoring was in vain. At this very juncture this One revealed to me that all the previous years I was just doing something for Him and was missing Him, missing His sweet presence as a real and genuine Person. Deep within there was the sense that the Lord was saying, “Just take Me. You have been so busy all these years doing things for Me. Just rest in Me. Love Me and enjoy Me.” In that one moment, such an unspeakable joy and rest swallowed up all those years of struggle.

From this point I was led to visit the local church in Spokane where Christian believers possessed such a deep love and profound joy for the Lord that was so attractive and encouraging. For the first time in my life I truly felt I was home while fellowshipping with these pursuers and seekers of Jesus Christ. What witnessed in my spirit was that these really knew God in a personal and intimate way.

It was also very apparent that there was a genuine one accord among these believers which I had never seen elsewhere. From the very beginning of fellowshipping with them, I could really say, “that indeed God is among you” (1 Corinthians 14:26). These were ordinary, normal people who had discovered the secret of maintaining their joy of the Lord in their daily lives. I finally realized that this is what I really had been searching for all these years. The whole goal of these Christian brothers and sisters was just Christ Himself. They were not seeking anything for themselves, but just the very person of Jesus Christ. Years of endeavoring and doing were replaced by enjoying and pursuing, pursuing this One, our Lord.

Here I was also introduced to the ministry writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, faithful servants of God who had unlocked the mysteries of the Bible. Their writings were and still are so supplying and nourishing for my hungry spirit. I have a deep appreciation for all the books and messages given by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee because through these I was brought to the Person of Christ, not to any method or outward regulation. I was brought to experience and enjoy the reality of “Christ making His home in our hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17). There is one quotation by Witness Lee that sums up all that is in me, “Give yourself to love the Lord. No other way is so prevailing, and no other way is so safe, so rich and so full of enjoyment. Just love Him. Do not care for anything else” (Life and Building as Portrayed in the Song of Songs, p. 24). As an individual I could never have maintained this. This has been my experience now for 16 years with the brothers and sisters enjoying the Lord in the local church in Spokane.

Jim Mogensen
Back To Top

Christ as my Supply


I will tell you of how I came to the local church in Spokane. My parents came to Spokane seven years ago and since then have been going to the meetings of the local church here. At first it seemed like all the other places we had been going to, until I got saved. Since that time the Lord has always been in my heart, and has, I believe, grown in me more and more.

My name is Johnny. I’m currently nineteen years old, and attending college. I love the Lord, and love to call on His name. Many times I have gone to meeting after meeting, and not once have I been discouraged from going back. The brothers speak only life; it is why we are here, and why we live. The believers help me experience Christ in a richer and higher way. He is like a feast on a table, filled from side to side, and up and down, with Christ. Only Christ Himself can really satisfy our hunger. He is the beginning and the end. I am encouraged to follow the Lord, and to pray for others because that is the only way to go on, and most of all, I call on the name of the Lord, of the King, of my Savior.

Johnny Mont˙far
Back To Top

I am Home


“Lord, this can’t be! Why is this happening?” I asked the Lord this. I’d been a believer for two years and already was frustrated and disillusioned about the Christian life. The more I tried to do “something” for God or be “someone” for God the more miserable I became. To escape this frustration I enlisted in the military. After my technical school was completed the U.S. Air Force stationed me in Spokane, Washington.

After being here for approximately one month that same old gnawing question “Why” came back. This led me to pray, “Lord, there’s something more to the Christian life; Lord, show me Your best!” Within a week, He brought me to a college campus where I met a student who was meeting with the local church in Spokane. I was invited to a gospel dinner that evening by this student. Upon my first meeting with these Christians I had the definite sensation that God had answered my prayer. In my being resounded, “I am home!” That was twenty-five years ago.

Through the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee these dear Christians have shown me how to experience and enjoy Christ with all His riches by the exercise of my human spirit. What a revelation! The human spirit and the soul are not the same! (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

One of the most helpful truths that I’ve experienced while in this fellowship is to realize that I am just a member of the Body of Christ, nothing more and nothing less. This has saved me from countless frustrations and anxieties. I’ve learned to accept where the Lord has placed me in His Body and have discovered how to function as the member the Lord intended me to be. (1 Corinthians 12:14-22) This is what builds up the Body of Christ what He desires.

Another enlightening truth that’s been shown to me is God’s eternal purpose. This vision has been a governing and controlling matter in my life. God desires a group of people built together in His life to express Him with all His divine attributes by their human virtues. This is what will shame and defeat God’s enemy, the devil. When the Lord has His expression through the builded members of His Body, Satan is defeated and the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose will be consummated, which will be the New Jerusalem! (Revelation 21:2, 10)

I can sincerely and thankfully say to the Lord that He answered my prayer that I had made as a young man. There’s nothing higher, more honorable, and satisfying than to give myself to the fulfillment of God’s heart’s desire. I attribute this all to the writings of brothers Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.

Jack Mogensen
Back To Top

Satisfied at Last


I received the Lord when I was 15 years old and at a Young Life meeting where I heard that God loved me and died for me. I felt God was speaking directly to me and I prayed to receive the Lord. Not being raised in a Christian home, I didn’t understand what happened to me, what salvation meant. It wasn’t until after leaving high school, I felt to pursue God and find out what being a Christian was. I knew I needed to meet with Christians, but who? and where? For the next three and one-half years I searched for the meaning of my Christian life. Being a voracious reader, I read numerous spiritual books. Eventually, I quit reading them and told God, “I just read about others’ experiences, but none of them tell me how I can experience You.” There was no open door for me to enter into the experience of Christ like they had. Time after time I ended up disappointed with where I was meeting and left. I remember crying out to God “How do I experience You? Where do I find ones that really love You? All I have learned is to memorize verses, do good works, study theology, speak in tongues…there has to be something more than this! Where are You?”

I asked a friend “What should I read to go on with the Lord?” She suggested reading books by Watchman Nee. So I bought every book that I could find. I recognized that there was definitely something different about these books. They talked about how I could experience Christ in my life and something more, that God had an eternal purpose. These books were an open door to bring me into the experience of living Christ. I was happy, but I still felt something was missing.

At this point, I had made a decision not to go to any more “churches”. All they had done was disappoint me. I decided, “It’s just You and me, Lord.” I transferred to a Christian college my senior year thinking that I would find great fellowship there. After one week, I was disappointed again. Didn’t anyone want to talk about Christ? Then I got a job on campus with a Christian sister meeting with the local church in Spokane. I found out that she read Watchman Nee’s books too. I was excited. She told me about her meetings and eventually I went. I was impressed by these people. They liked to talk about the Lord all the time. They loved to say they loved Jesus! And they had so many books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee on how to live Christ, love Christ, pursue Christ, and to see God’s eternal purpose and how it was accomplished through the practical church life. I felt like someone who had been starving for a long time and had been brought to a feast! I was so excited and kept going to the meetings getting richly fed each time; but always, lurking at the back of my mind was the thought “This will run out like all the others. It won’t last.”

I have been meeting with the local church in Spokane and reading this ministry for 26 years now, and can testify that this ministry, along with the practical church life, has brought me only into a deeper, richer, more intimate fellowship with Christ. It hasn’t run out, in fact, it’s gotten better! I love Christ and I love the church more today than I did 26 years ago. It is by this wonderful ministry and by meeting on the proper ground of oneness that I have been brought into the reality of how to experience Christ in my daily life, how Christ’s life can grow to maturity in me, how I can be practically built into the Body of Christ, receive a supply of Christ from all the members, and become prepared to be part of His Bride waiting for His return.

This ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, and the normal practical church life has brought me to love, cherish, and experience Christ in a way I never would have thought possible. I am so thankful for both.

Merry Dantos
Back To Top

Captivated by the Enjoyment of Christ


When I began to meet with the local church in Spokane I found Christ and the reality of Christ. Here Christ is so real and so enjoyable, so reachable and sweet. O what an enjoyment it is to be attracted by the beauty of Christ, and to be with the believers in the local church. Praise the Lord for the local church in Spokane, where I found my spirit to contact God, to enjoy the Lord, and to be in His presence.

Esther Mont˙far
Back To Top

My Growth in Christ


My experience with the local church in Spokane has been the greatest experience in my life. Here is where I have begun to appreciate the local church and have been able to experience the love of Christ.

I got saved when I was 12 years old. I didn’t quite have the vision or the understanding of the life of Christ, until the Lord Jesus brought my family and me to Spokane.

Here I have grown to appreciate and to experience the local church and the love of Christ. The past 7 years have been the greatest years of my life. Praise the Lord for Christ and the church! May God continue to show us more of His eternal purpose!

Arlette Mont˙far
Back To Top

The Bible—an Open Book


I heard some Bible stories when I was very young. When I was nine, my neighbor spoke the gospel to me and I happily accepted the Lord. My parents enrolled me in a Christian school from the fourth grade to the eighth grade. At this school I learned many Bible stories and I enjoyed them very much.

Throughout my high school and college days I studied the Bible and tried to walk according to my conscience the best I knew how. The Lord seemed close to me but there still seemed to be something lacking. I found the stories in the Bible distant from my experience. I was also lacking the overall view of the Bible. One day while I was riding the bus to college, I told the Lord that I didn’t have any friends at school. That day on the way back from school, a person with a Bible in his hand sat next to me. He invited me to a Bible study. In this Bible study he showed me that God has a plan to gain man to express His image and represent His dominion on the earth (Genesis 1:26) and that this is being done by dispensing Himself as life into man, to be man’s life and content.

After this Bible study I asked this person if I could read what he was reading and meet where he was meeting. He introduced to me the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. He also brought me to meet with other Christians in the local church in Spokane. This was in the spring of 1991. Since that time I have been meeting with these Christians and reading the publications of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. I have found that by meeting with them and reading their publications the Bible has become an open book to me. I also have learned through this ministry what it is to be a Christian in line with the will of God.

Spencer Clawson
Back To Top

Captivated by Enjoyment


When I began meeting with the local churches, I found Christ; I found the reality of Christ.

Here Christ is so real and so enjoyable, reachable, and so sweet. O what an enjoyment it is to be captivated by the beauty of Christ and meet with the believers in the local churches. Praise the Lord for the local church where I found my spirit to contact God, to enjoy the Lord, and to be in His presence with other believers for the building up of the Body of Christ, which is the church (Ephesians 1:22-23).

Lorenzo Mont˙far
Back To Top

The Reality of Christ in my Daily Life


I would like to testify of the utter joy and reality of Christ I have experienced in my daily life through contact with the local church in Spokane and the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.

I was raised in a fundamental Christian home and was taught the truths of the Bible as a child. My father was an elder of a Plymouth Brethren Assembly. I appreciated the elderly Christian brothers and sisters there because of their deeper relationships with the Lord.

Even though I embraced the truths of the Word, I recognized that I was not experiencing the personal daily enjoyment of Christ. I also found myself being attracted to and expressing the world. I was trying to satisfy myself with so many things although I knew that only the Lord should truly satisfy me. I was also grieved that my Christian testimony was so lacking that unbelievers were not drawn to the Lord through me. I recognized that if I was in the experience of the Lord more, Christ would be filling me and then other things would have no room to fill me and to blot the testimony of Christ through me.

This caused me to cry out to the Lord. As I was before the Lord I blurted out, “Lord, You have to be more to me.” He mercifully answered my prayer beyond what I could have imagined.

God sovereignly brought me in contact with a Christian brother who was full of the enjoyment of Christ. This was expressed on his face and evident in the words spoken from his mouth. I was so attracted to this that I was inspired to go to a conference in Seattle where the reality of Christ in believers’ lives was so testified. This impression stayed with me for over a year, until the Lord caused me to feel I could not go on in my human life without the Lord being real in my daily life. I felt the world’s strong draw and longed to be delivered from it to go on with the Lord for His pleasure.

I moved into a house with some of the Christian sisters meeting with the local church in Spokane. Their daily life helped me learn to take in the Lord as my life supply. I learned the practicality of John 6:57 where the Lord Jesus spoke, “He that eats Me even he shall live by Me.” I have learned to treasure the eating of the Lord through His Word, the testimony of others, and through the publications of Living Stream Ministry. This has brought me to a wonderful, practical, daily experience of Christ that overflows to others. I thank the Lord that He has worked a testimony of the reality of His life in my life.

Marilyn Somner
Back To Top

Satisfied


I was raised in a Christian home and attended denominations in Christianity. In my high school years I began questioning what was real. By the time I was attending a small Christian college I called myself an agnostic. By the Lord’s mercy, I was brought to the Lord through friends in college. I went to various denominations and free groups, but was not satisfied. I felt something must be wrong with me, that I didn’t fit in. I had a desire to give myself to the Lord, but no practical way to carry it out. Then in 1977 I came in contact with the local churches through the church in Spokane. I found that God has an eternal purpose, which would be worth giving my entire being to. I could give myself to the Lord to fulfill His desire.

In all my years in the local church I have found the Lord real and practical. I can contact Him and be touched by Him in all the various matters of daily life. I have been brought to love Him more and more. I love the Word of God; and the ministry of Witness Lee helps to open the Word to me. The Bible makes sense, and is consistent from Genesis to Revelation in unveiling God’s eternal plan. Through daily contact with the Lord and His Word, and the supply of God’s life from the Christian brothers and sisters, I have been helped to grow in life, and to care less for things of the world and self. I have been brought to know the genuine Oneness the Lord desires, and to experience living as a member of the Body of Christ. My family life and home life have been enriched and supported by the supply of God’s life I have received from believers in the local church. Most of all, I have a living on earth which can satisfy God’s desire.

Kathy Kalles
Back To Top

I Found the Answer!


I grew up in a Greek Orthodox home in Andover, Massachusetts. All those in my family were faithful members of that church. I believed in God, had a heart for God, and prayed to Him throughout my life. I served as an altar boy at that church and was actively involved there while growing up.

When I was 25, I moved to Santa Cruz, California. I was seeking the reality of my human life. What was the purpose for my existence? While walking on the beach one day, I remember that I cried out to God, asking Him these questions.

Two weeks later I was invited by a friend to a meeting of the local church in Santa Cruz. That was on October 1, 1972. I accepted the Lord Jesus into my life and was baptized that afternoon. I felt like I had come home, that my prayer for reality was finally answered. After my baptism, I felt a joy that I never had before. I couldn’t stop smiling. I found Christ as my reality. Hallelujah!

I began to read the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee and I received much spiritual help and enlightenment from these publications. Two months later, I attended a Christian conference in San Diego and had the pleasure of staying in the same home as Witness Lee. He was so interested in me, asking me about my background growing up in the Greek Orthodox church, and he helped me as an older brother in the Lord caring for a new believer.

Now I’m 52 years old and I can say that I love the Lord and His purpose more than I ever have and I praise the Lord for the rich ministry of these two faithful servants of God that helped bring me into the reality of the experience of Christ, the church, and God’s eternal purpose.

Anonymous
Back To Top

Finding God’s Will and Heart’s Desire


In my senior year of college my roommate invited me to a meeting of the church in Seattle where her parents lived. I had been saved for three years and had attended numerous denominations throughout Washington State. I thought I was being invited to just another group, another service. To my great surprise I noticed there was depth in the Word of God being spoken, the Lord’s presence was there and I was intensely drawn to the Lord Himself in the meeting and even for weeks afterwards.

During that period I signed a teaching contract in Spokane and moved there. In the fall of 1970 the Lord further opened my eyes to see His eternal purpose as revealed in the Bible and I gladly consecrated myself to Christ and His practical purpose, the building up of the church. Every meeting I’ve ever attended has always had the Lord’s presence, the riches of Christ ministered, and the flow of the Spirit in the Body. The Lord has surely commanded His blessing on such oneness (Psalm 133). After nearly thirty years in the local church I can testify it just keeps getting better and better, because it’s truly an expression of God’s divine life.

Being a teacher, I have worked with nearly five thousand young people. Through the years I have had the privilege of having some children from the local church in my classroom. I am full of appreciation for the character and humanity in each of these families. These are the most preserved, proper and purposeful young people I have ever been around.

When I was a young person in my early teens I too desired to know the meaning of my human life. I was told this question was unanswerable and to just go outside and play with my friends. In my later teen years I received the Lord and my whole life direction changed. People told me that God had a plan for “my life,” yet deep within that never quite seemed adequate. Only when I came to the church life did I discover that God has an eternal will and heart’s desire. It is so refreshing to see a group of people who realize with assurance that God has a purpose and their lives can fit into His purpose. To be living on this earth for God’s satisfaction is truly the meaning of human life. How I thank the Lord for His great mercy in bringing me to His purpose.

Paula Kramer
Back To Top

In My Daddy’s Arms


When I was 3 years old, my father left. Like the story of many, my mommy and daddy would no longer be my mommy and daddy (or at least that's how this 3-year-old saw things). It was painful. As a young child I learned well the real meaning of the word divorce, but even into my adolescence I could not answer my heart’s haunting question: “Where is my daddy?”

Through my childhood, I always had a deep sense that I needed my daddy. I tried various things—some good, some bad—always attempting to calm the clamoring question of my heart: Where is my daddy? My search continued. All the while, however, I had no realization that my father was seeking me. What? My Father? Seeking me? It was really true. My heavenly Father was seeking me. John 4:23 says, “…the Father also seeks such to worship Him…” Can you imagine?—the God of the universe, my heavenly Father, sought me out!!

Three weeks before I turned 13 years old, my heavenly Father found me. He took me into His arms and He has never let me go. (What joy and rest to be in my Daddy’s arms.) It happened like this. I was at a meeting of the local church in Spokane. I was only there because my mother forced me to go, but the strangest (or most wonderful) thing happened to me in that meeting. That night I had the realization that my heavenly Father was seeking me. I had a deep sense that not only had I found my Father, but that my Father had found me. He was calling me to Himself (1 Corinthians 1:9). I called on Him from the depths of my being (Romans 10:12-13), and my satisfied heart exclaimed, I love Him! I love my Daddy’s arms! Indeed, I had been brought directly into the lap of God Himself. Oh, in my Daddy’s arms!

Since that day, I have continued in the Christian fellowship of the local churches. Today, at the age of 36, I testify with much joy and comfort that there has never passed a day that I could not find my Daddy’s arms, the arms of my heavenly Father. Also, having two precious daughters of my own (whom I love to hold in my arms), I would like to testify to anyone who is seeking the real Father that, in fact, “…the Father also seeks such to worship Him…” (John 4:23).

Now I count it a joy to join my dear Lord Jesus in saying “…I must be in the things of my Father” (Luke 2:49). For now, you see, my testimony is not centered on my question: “Where is my daddy?” Much rather, it is centered on my Father’s interest and on my heart’s joyful response: “In my Daddy’s arms!”

Darryl Rawlins
Back To Top

Being Filled with the Holy Spirit


I grew up in a Christian family very preserved from the world. When I graduated from high school I began to realize even though my parents did a great job of keeping the world out of our home, my Christian walk was far from matching the Word of God. I realized that I desperately needed some spiritual nourishment! When I was a young person, almost daily, my dad and I prayed: “Fill me with the Holy Spirit.” I never knew what that really meant. So much of my spiritual search as a young adult stemmed from the desire to know, “What does it mean to have the Spirit filling me?” For a long time I was not making any progress in my pursuit and in fact had been very discouraged by various situations. I found my heart was becoming closed to the Lord, as no answer seemed to come. I was about to make a last-ditch effort to find some spiritual reality when I heard a person read something in a Bible study as an answer to a Bible question. This person was reading a verse explanation, a footnote, from the Recovery Version Bible. Hearing that footnote began to open my heart to the Lord again. Immediately after that I went to my first meeting with the local church in Spokane. I can testify that my heart rejoiced greatly at what I heard and saw in those meetings. The meetings were (and are) so enjoyable that sometimes my cheek muscles would ache from smiling so often!

This verse really opened my eyes. Romans 8:11 says, “…His Spirit who indwells you.” I found out that to know the Spirit is not hard because He indwells me! This fact alone has changed my whole Christian walk. What a joy! The Spirit who gives life lives in me! This is why the meetings are so wonderful, because the believers enjoy being filled with the Spirit. This is the way it should be, according to Romans 14:17: “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” I thank the Lord that now my life is becoming a life not of vaguely wondering, but of paying attention to the Spirit, obeying the Spirit, and living out the Spirit. This is the real spiritual (or should I say Spirit-filled) life.

Thank You, Lord, for bringing me to the glorious local church—where God bountifully supplies to me the Spirit out of the hearing of faith (Galatians 3:5). I feel the Lord has answered my plea to know the Spirit by showing me the truth in the Bible and the reality of the Body of Christ. I am so happy in the local church. I love the Lord more today than ever.

Diane Hooper
Back To Top

My Search is Over


Up until the time I was 23 I sought to find God as a reality in my life. I restlessly and relentlessly searched in many places and read many books in an attempt to find answers to the many questions I had regarding having God as a real and personal part of my life.

In September of 1989 I met some Christians who met as the church in Spokane. I realized as I began to spend time with these believers that they had what I had been hungering for a long time. I could see that these were ones who had the real experience and enjoyment of the Lord and that the Lord Jesus was a real part of their lives. Because of knowing them, I was drawn to the Lord and readily received Him as my personal savior.

Since that day nearly ten years ago, I have continued meeting with the church in Spokane, and have been drawn, motivated, and encouraged to love the Lord and to grow in my experience of Him, to know the church as the Body of Christ, and to see God’s eternal purpose.

I have also found the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee invaluable in helping me to know and understand the truth in the Bible, verse by verse, and to receive light and life from the Bible, which is the very breath of God. (2 Timothy 3:16)

I am so glad my search is over and that I’m finding Christ to be so real to me every day. John 14:6 says “I am the way, the reality, and the life.” I am so glad I found Christ as my life and the way to experience Him in the local church.

B.L.
Back To Top

Christ is not Divided


When I was seven years old, my Christian mother prayed with me to ask the Lord Jesus to come into my heart. That day, Christ imparted His very life into me. It is both a miracle and a mystery, but it is a fact. Praise the Lord! I grew up in a small community in northern Minnesota where my Mom took my siblings and me to many denominations. Consequently, we never called ourselves by a particular name, rather we referred to ourselves as Christians. Eventually, I began to question why there were so many denominations. “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13a) In all of the places we went, I did not see, nor did I experience the enjoyment of the Lord. The closest I came to enjoying the Lord was at Bible camp, but it seemed to fade when I returned home to my daily routine.

As I entered my teenage years, I continued to love the Lord, but my consciousness began to fade. I did more of want I wanted and I consulted with the Lord less. My husband and I were married at a young age. He was not saved, however he and I both believed that he was. We went off to college and had some very difficult years. Eventually the Lord brought us to Spokane, Washington. My husband got saved the month after we arrived. During this time I consecrated myself to the Lord. I had no idea what would happen. I just knew I wanted to give everything to the Lord. I had been caring for myself too long and not for the Lord.

A few weeks later, we were introduced to some Christians who were meeting as the church in Spokane. I discovered that Christ is not divided! These Christians were meeting on the ground of oneness. Could it be true? These people cared only for Christ. They were glowing with Christ and I soon discovered that they even enjoyed the Lord in their daily life. I longed to experience this enjoyment.

In my first meeting, I learned that I have a body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Christ lives in my spirit (2 Timothy 4:22). This means I need to exercise my spirit to enjoy Him. This is what all the happy people were doing and this is what I was attracted to. Christ became so real to me in the local church; never before had He been so real to me. Through the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee I began to see more of this Wonderful Person that lives in me. I only want Christ and it is in the local church that He has become my reality.

Anonymous
Back To Top

A Blessing and a Privilege


I was born to parents who were meeting with the local churches. So, from the very beginning, I’ve been able to hear about, enjoy, and experience the Lord in the local churches and through reading the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. To me, it’s a blessing and a privilege to have been in the local churches my whole life. I am so glad to be here and so grateful to the Lord for His sovereign arrangement.

The ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee cause me to love the Lord more and to seek after Him with my whole being for His satisfaction. These ministries have also put in me a love and a desire for the Word of God and have caused me to know, see, and experience the Person of Jesus Christ and His heart’s desire as revealed in the Bible: to gain a Bride, a match, for Himself.

Another aspect of the local churches that I really treasure is that our enjoyment of the Lord is corporate and practical. Since I’ve always been in the local churches, I don’t know what it’s like to be a solitary Christian, seeking the Lord in an individual way. I do know, however, that I have a big appreciation for the believers and our mutual enjoyment of the Lord as His Body. Moreover, through enjoying the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee I’ve found that Christ is not just enjoyable on Sunday or in the church meetings, but that I can enjoy Him every day in a real and living way. As I enjoy Him in the meetings, in my daily life, and with the other believers He floods me with Himself to fill me up and to satisfy His heart.

I’m so glad I can be here, as a young person meeting with the local church in Spokane, enjoying the Lord with all the believers so that He can come back.

Rachel Kilgren
Back To Top

The God of Glory Appeared


I believe that as a boy growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I had a sense of eternity in my heart as I looked up at the stars on a clear night, though I didn’t know yet who or what was this eternity. After graduating from the University of Washington in the early 70’s, I started seeking after God in a serious way due to a growing sense of emptiness and vanity in my life. One day God appeared to me and then I knew that there was a living and knowable God; yet I still didn’t know how to reach Him. Soon after this I determined to travel to Europe and eventually to Israel to visit a close friend who had had a real experience of God there. I hitchhiked through Europe, Turkey, and the Middle East and arrived in Jerusalem in June of 1973. Within two weeks I had finally found the way to this living God in the Person of Jesus Christ.

I then spent three years in Denmark with Christians there, including Youth With A Mission and a Teen Challenge-type arrangement in Copenhagen. I returned to the USA and became a member of a “spirit filled” denomination near my parent’s home in Kirkland, Washington. After two years of being involved in this denomination, I still felt a longing for something deeper, something more of God. Then in my first year in nursing school at Seattle Pacific University, I met a Christian brother in my missions class (I was planning to be a medical missionary to the Middle East) and he invited me to a Bible study. I attended and discovered a group of people who also had a longing to know God in a deeper way. The fellowship was full of the enjoyment of the eternal life of God. There was no tongue speaking or prophesying as I knew it to be but I felt so enlivened and refreshed from having met with these believers.

Over a year’s time I attended some meetings of the local church in Seattle and the local church in Bellevue and I heard some different and deeper interpretations of the Bible than I had heard before, yet all the time there was a deep confirmation in the depths of my being that this was the same living God appearing to me again. Eventually, as I searched the Scriptures, I discovered the words spoken by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee matched the Bible and touched the depths of the spirit that was in the writers when they wrote the books of the Bible.

Now, 21 years later, I can testify that their ministry has led me to the living Person of Jesus Christ, to know Him inwardly in an ever deepening way and also to know and participate in His heart’s desire which is the building up of His Body, the church, to be His glorious bride at His coming back.

Erick Kilgren
Back To Top

I Found the Lord’s Address


My name is Denise. I received the Lord when I was in high school. I was raised in Catholicism and learned the Apostles’ Creed which states that God is triune. So I knew doctrinally that the Holy Spirit existed; but no one showed me in the Bible that there was also the human spirit in man, the organ created by God for man to receive and contact God. I knew I was a Christian and that the Lord Jesus lived in me but didn’t know exactly where He was or how I could contact Him. It was like vaguely knowing someone lived in a particular area of town but not realizing or knowing the specific address.

In 1983, ten years later, I came in contact with a group of believers meeting as the church in Spokane. For the first time I began to hear about my human spirit, that it was the organ created by God for us to contact Him. I saw in the Bible that the Lord as the Spirit had come into my spirit and we were joined as one spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). I had found His address and could contact God anytime!

The Christian brothers and sisters in the local church experienced such reality of living by these two spirits that I had not seen with other Christians. They genuinely cared that I would experience this same reality. They shared with me the verses that show God as the Spirit in reference to our human spirit. The following three verses have been special to me ever since.

John 3:6 “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

John 4:24 “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.

Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of God.”

Also special to me are the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. I began reading books by these two Christian brothers in 1983 and I can testify that their writings have brought me into a deeper experience and a higher enjoyment of contacting and receiving God in my human spirit. What an enjoyment to know the Lord’s address and to be able to contact Him at anytime!

Denise Harms
Back To Top

Filled and Satisfied


Some of my earliest memories as a child include longing to believe in God and knowing that I did not. My mother would take me to Sunday school occasionally, but I wanted to go all the time, and I was envious of other children whose families were able to do this. When I was in seventh grade, I asked a group of men at a young peoples’ fellowship, “But Who is He?” They all sat there silent. I was disappointed that no one could tell me. I continued to long to know Him. In high school I went to an occasional Young Life meeting. My sister had an experience of praying and asking Jesus to be her personal Savior in Young Life, and I could tell she was different after that. Something had happened, but I didn’t understand.

In the summer of 1970, home on break from Washington State University, the Lord drew me into His personal presence, like a great magnet. I talked with Him. He knew all along of my longing and He then, in an instant, met it with Himself. I believed in God and I knew it! The believing One now resided within me. Interestingly though, no one told me what had happened. New desires rose up in me: I wanted to read the Bible, I wanted to meet with other Christians and I began to have a sense in my conscience regarding my life as never before. But as I went back to college that fall, I became distracted.

After receiving a degree from WSU, I went on to nursing school at the University of Washington. As I began though, something was gnawing deep inside. It was unlike me not to finish what I had begun, but I felt I needed to quit and just work in downtown Seattle. The “magnet” was working. There, I got a job at a medical clinic, and there, I met the Lord again. This was in 1974. He arranged for me to work next to a believer who began to tell me about this One. She was so satisfied with Him. She glowed like no one I had ever known, especially when she shared with me about the Bible and her experience of this Person. I could tell she loved Him. She asked me to a dinner with believers she was meeting with in the local church in Seattle. We sang a song that night that said, “Do you know what you were made for, do you ever wonder why?…you were made with something deep within, a vessel to contain just Him.” It clicked! This answered the question of the universe in me, “Why am I alive?” I had been filling myself with things other than Him. I was made only to be filled with Him. I returned to nursing school and became an RN, but my real goal in life changed. My goal was becoming God’s goal. I wanted to be filled with Him.

I must add that since I was very young, I was bothered about the differences I saw among races and mankind in general. I sought answers throughout my life for this seemingly unsolvable problem of division. As I began to meet with the church in Seattle and subsequently with the church in Bellevue, I began to see in the Bible, and through the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, that God is one and when He fills mankind with Himself, they become one. The believers in Christ are one. Believing in Christ is the solution to all man’s needs, including oneness. This became my experience. As we take Christ in, the oneness prevails and “He Himself is our peace.” The Lord on the cross produced this precious oneness, and I daily experience it in the local church today. The Lord is continuing to meet all my needs and my longing to know Him personally and intimately; but greater than my need and purpose for myself is His need and purpose for Himself. God has a need to fill man to gain His masterpiece, a corporate expression in the church as the reality of the Body of Christ, His very Bride, which will be the New Jerusalem, His eternal dwelling place, one with man. This is for His satisfaction.

Today, my husband and I and our three children are meeting in the church in Spokane, and our testimony is that Christ and the local church only get richer and more satisfying as He continues to be the most wonderful magnet in the universe drawing us away from all else but Himself (reference from a footnote by Witness Lee in the Recovery Version of the Bible, Hebrews 12:2, footnote 2). We are filled and satisfied.

Jacquie Kilgren
Back To Top

The Christian Life: a Matter of Eating


I have always enjoyed eating, but before I began to meet with the local church in Spokane, I never considered eating Christ and being constituted with Him (John 6:57).

Although I am 52 years old, I am a young Christian. As a child, I attended a denomination with my family and had a great love for the Lord. When my mother died suddenly shortly after my thirteenth birthday, I turned to members of my denomination and asked the question “Why?”; when they told me that God needed her more than I did, I was hurt and felt angry at God. I turned away from Him and although I talked to Him all the time, I considered myself an agnostic. I now know the Lord carried me through all of the difficulties I experienced. He led me to Himself. I was saved in 1995, and along with my husband, started searching for a church. On October 19, 1997, we walked through the doors of the meeting hall of the church in Spokane and knew we were home. Right away the believers began to feed us both physically and spiritually.

I have been appreciating that the Lord, throughout the Bible, tells us to eat of Him. Starting in the book of Genesis, He told Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of life and all other trees in the garden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). We all know what tree they chose to eat from and the consequences of their choice. The Lord said in John, “I am the bread of life…” (John 6:35). In Revelation we are told, “I will give to eat of the tree of life,” (Revelation 2:7), and “I will give of the hidden manna” (Revelation 2:17).

I have been enjoying the Lord in the local church, taking Him as my full supply. Just like in my physical being, I need to eat every day. The Bible contains a lifetime’s worth of meals, actually feasts. The more I eat of the Word, the more I am constituted with Christ. I started being fed with milk and am now experiencing the enjoyment of more solid food. Just as when I was a young child, my role was to eat and enjoy the food, I realize the Lord is looking for a group of Christians who will eat of Him and take Him as their full supply to be constituted of Him and become His Bride so that He can come back to fulfill His desire. I want to be a part of the mature Bride, which is a corporate matter. I thank the Lord for saving and making me a part of the Body of Christ.

Gail Harding-Thomas
Back To Top

Born of the Spirit to Walk by the Spirit


The gospel of Jesus Christ reached me through my mother, who became a Christian in the 1950’s on the island of Taiwan. She and hundreds of thousands of others were saved at that time by the prevailing gospel preaching of brother Witness Lee and some faithful believers meeting as local churches on that island. At age 14, I also prayed to receive the Lord as my Savior and was baptized in meeting hall #2 of the church in Taipei. Tears of joy ran down my face as I confessed out loud, “Lord Jesus, I believe You!…” It felt like a heavy weight was lifted from my inner being, and I knew Jesus came into me. Later on I realized more clearly that the heaviness I sensed was the burden of sin on my conscience. When I turned my heart to the Lord and called on Him, my sins, along with the guilt in my conscience, were washed away by the precious blood of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:16, John 1:29; Hebrews 9:14). I had peace with God. For the first time in my life, my spirit contacted God the Spirit, and the two became one (1 Corinthians 6:17)!

Soon after I received the Lord, I thought, “Since I am now a Christian, I will start being a good person and do some things I never could do before, such as reading the Bible from cover to cover, and being patient with friends and family members.” These noble ideas seemed to help improve my living at first, but after a while, my old self surfaced again. Repeated failures in attempting to do good caused me to question if Bible teachings could ever be realized in my practical daily walk.

In 1973, I came to the United States for graduate study. By the Lord’s sovereign mercy, I was kept in the local churches, firstly meeting with the church in Chicago during graduate school, then with the church in Spokane after graduation. Through the years, Christian brothers and sisters in the local church cared for my personal well-being and walked me through critical turns. They showed me how to partake of the Spirit in the Word as my life and life supply (John 6:57, 63). My love for the Lord grew steadily, and quite unconsciously, things of the world gradually lost their appeal to me.

By observing the daily lives of many dear brothers and sisters around me, I soon became convinced that all believers can experience Christ practically in their daily walk. The secret, I learned, is to know your human spirit, where the Holy Spirit dwells. A dear brother testified many times, “The human spirit is the greatest discovery of the twentieth century!” This discovery does not refer to a doctrinal understanding, but a subjective revelation. Thank the Lord that I came to this realization personally when reading through the book, The Economy of God by brother Witness Lee. As the Word of God divides my soul from my spirit (Hebrews 4:12), I can clearly discern, by paying attention to the inner sense of life, the difference between living in my soul and living in my spirit.

All the Bible teachings can only be realized in my practical daily walk when I live in my human spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14)! My attempts to do good resulted in failures because I unknowingly turned away from the Lord Himself in my spirit to the works of my “self-made laws,” which induced soulish efforts instead of living faith (Galatians 3:1-3). By turning to live by the Spirit in my spirit, my experiences now testify of what brother Witness Lee described in The Knowledge of Life (page 106): “If we touch the inner sense in a practical way and live in fellowship, we will automatically be able: (1) to be freed from sin, (2) to do the good works which we are unable to do, (3) to fulfill the law of God, and (4) to live out the life of God.”

Rachel Wang
Back To Top

Enjoying Christ Day by Day


My name is Nelly and I’m from Mexico City. I came to the United States nine years ago. My parents came to Christ and we kids followed. I first touched the Lord when I was twelve years old and I opened my heart fully to Him and allowed Him to have a way in my being to grow so that I could enjoy Him. What I have found out since I have touched this living Person is that contacting Him and enjoying Him daily, in the morning when I can read the Bible, and going to regular meetings, has helped me to have Christ grow in my being. Getting to know Christ has been a wonderful experience. Christ is always there for me and He will never leave me. From the time I called on His name with an open heart I have never wanted Him to leave. I want Him more and more. Enjoying Christ in a real and pure way daily helps me grow and mature in life. Christ can fill all of my needs and He knows that all I need is Him.

Nelly Mont˙far
Back To Top

An Answered Prayer


As a young man, the things in the Bible seemed remote and difficult for me to believe. My parents took me to church but I had no personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. Before finishing high school I lost interest in attending church and despaired of ever finding the Lord in a meaningful and personal way. Then during my freshman year in college, the Lord, in His bountiful mercy, found me. I was walking along the street alone, feeling upset with myself, when a young man turned to me and asked, “Are you a Christian?” Within a few minutes, we were kneeling together on the sidewalk and praying. I prayed for Jesus to come into my heart and be my Savior. At first I was not sure anything real had happened, but beginning from that day in May 1972, the Lord Jesus began to make Himself real to me.

I expected that, having received the Lord as my Savior, I would immediately become a better person. Instead I found that many of the same old character faults continued in my behavior. This caused me to doubt my salvation very much. Meanwhile, I began to read the Bible, and to find it very sweet. I also began to seek the fellowship of other Christians. These were two big changes that should have borne evidence of a new life in me. Yet, because I was looking for other changes, I still continued to doubt. During that time, I attended meetings of several Christian denominations, but found little that matched the new feeling in me toward the Lord. I feared that I was unable to live up to being a Christian in reality. In fact, I wondered how anyone could, so I decided to investigate what the original Christians did after believing in the Lord. From reading Acts 2:41-47, I realized what a difference the experience of the early church could make. For the next several months I prayed repeatedly to the Lord, beseeching Him to lead me to a church like the one in Acts. I wanted to be led by the Lord in this matter, with nothing initiated out of my own ideas. So I told the Lord that I would avoid inquiring of others about their churches, but would wait until He sent someone to me with an invitation.

In October 1972 I moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. There in the dormitory I found a little Bible study group which I joined. Still nobody invited me to their church. Then after about a month, a Christian brother asked if I was interested in visiting the church with him. That was my introduction to the local church in Seattle. Upon entering the simple meeting hall, I saw some hundred or so Christian brothers and sisters sitting in folding chairs arranged in circular fashion. As I listened to them pray and sing, punctuated by “Amen!” uttered in unison, my immediate impression was that the Lord had indeed answered my prayer by guiding me to a church like that in the book of Acts. But at the same time I wondered if I was ready to take such an absolute step myself. I went home thinking what a marvelous experience it was to see such a genuine meeting of Christians, but still doubting that I myself could ever be like that. However, when my friend invited me to go to another meeting the next Sunday, I was ready to go. So I began to attend the meetings of the church in Seattle regularly on Sundays. I observed the brothers and sisters calling loudly “O Lord Jesus!” in the meetings. I also heard that besides the body and the soul, every man has a spirit, made by God specifically for us to contact God, Who is Spirit. One day, rather quietly, I called “O Lord Jesus!” as I walked on campus. Right away I had the sense that the Lord was there with me. That was when I first realized practically what it means for the Lord to be with my spirit. As I continued to exercise my spirit to contact the Lord and worship Him, my doubts about my salvation quickly evaporated.

A couple in the local church who lived near the UW campus, invited my friend and me to their home every morning to pray, sing, and read the Bible at the beginning of the day. How we enjoyed the Lord’s Word together! At the same time, I picked up the habit of taking long walks in the morning or evening for prayer and fellowship with the Lord. Sometimes I also sang in my dorm room. I looked forward to waking up each day, for I began every day by reading at least a chapter in the Bible. My studies became secondary, and Christ occupied the first place in my life. When I heard that a blind brother who was studying the same subject needed a reader, I was happy to volunteer my time to help him. All this happened quite spontaneously, with almost no effort on my part! In addition to my own reading of the Bible with the Lord, I was introduced to the writings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. I also received much help from the speaking of the believers in the meetings. At the 1973 summer conference in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to hear Witness Lee speak in person. In that conference he spoke mostly from the book of Ephesians. Although I understood little, I picked up one phrase that he emphasized repeatedly. This phrase was that we all need to take Jesus as our Person. I prayed over this phrase day after day during the summer, telling the Lord that I wanted to take Him as my Person.

In 1974 the opportunity came to attend a summer Bible training, when Witness Lee spoke the messages collected in the Life-Study of Romans. During that training, he realized that there were many attendees who did not have a good foundation in the meaning of many spiritual terms. I was one among those. I am very thankful for the basic explanations he so patiently gave us during that training. I found that time so profitable that I decided never to miss another summer or winter training and I never did until 1979 when, beginning with The Life-Study of Galatians, the trainings were video-taped so we could watch them without the need to travel. How I thank the Lord for opening up His Word book after book in all the Life-Study messages! Through those messages I have learned that God has an eternal purpose, that Christ has the pre-eminence in all things, that the Triune God dispenses Himself into His chosen and redeemed people as the life-giving Spirit, that we can enjoy the Lord in our spirit, that the cross is not only for our redemption but also for the termination of every thing rising up against the knowledge of Christ (including we ourselves in our flesh), and that every bit of Christ we gain today as believers will become an eternal memorial in the New Jerusalem. I am thankful for 27 years of meeting with the churches in Seattle, Portland, Bellevue, and Spokane and also to the ministry of our dear brother Witness Lee.

Doug Dean
Back To Top

From Sorrow to Joy


The summer of my first year in college, my father was ill and dying. Not having any warning of his imminent death, he passed away unexpectedly, leaving a grief filled and shocked family. My mother cried throughout the rest of the summer. The center of her life was gone and she would not received any comfort. I had always tried to live a life that pleased my parents, so when I could not comfort my mother I became depressed and full of sorrow.

In the fall, when I returned to school, I received a Bible from a Christian sister who met with the local church in Taipei. One night, while I was depressed
Back To Top
and alone, I began to look into that Bible. As I turned the pages, some words caught my eyes…

“He said, “It is finished!” and He lowered His head and delivered up His spirit” (John 19:30).

The memory of my father not knowing when he would die ran through my memory. But this man, Jesus, He knew when He would breathe His last breath! This man, I discovered, had to be God! The realization of Jesus being God overwhelmed me and my depression was swallowed up by a great joy!

From that time onward, I began meeting with the local churches. The first local church that I began to meet with was the church in Tansui. There
Back To Top
I developed a love for the Word of God. I enjoyed the ministry of Witness Lee. I exercised my spirit and daily read the Word of God prayerfully. My experiences in the local church in Tansui laid a good foundation in my Christian faith. I read the entire Old and New Testament within the first year of my new life in Christ. Every day I had a private morning time with the Lord and then one with other believers. We exercised our spirits by singing and praying. I was filled with the Lord and went to testify to my mother. My mother also received the joy. Jesus became so intimate with me, and I could not but tell Him that I loved Him. I also loved to meet with other believers.

Now, many years later in the church in Spokane, I am still full of joy. I think the local churches are so pure and absolute to love the Lord Himself. Each time I go to a meeting I have a stronger desire for the Lord and to get into His Word. Every message I read from the ministry of Witness Lee causes me to want to contact the Lord Himself more and also to love His Body. I am so happy to be in the local churches, loving the Lord and living my life to please Him.

Jan-Jan Wu
Back To Top

Of God Who Shows Mercy


I’m a 22-year-old young man and have spent the majority of my life in the local churches. I was raised on the ministry Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, yet I began to take it for granted, and I eventually began to actively pursue the things of this age. Through a period of 5 years, I slipped lower and lower into the miry clay of sin. Yet through His mercy I was given the opportunity to start over with my life.

After joining and then getting out of a Christian discipleship ministry, I was absolutely before the Lord in regard to where He would have me meet with other believers. He clearly and unmistakably led me to the local church! It is here that my heart is being gained for the Lord Himself, and it is here that I find every bit of ministry focused solely on Christ Himself! Time and time again my spirit bears witness to me, through the speaking of fellow members of the Body of Christ, that this is a place that can meet the very heart’s desire of God Himself.

The unique characteristic of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee’s writings is that they bring me to Christ and cause my love and desire for God to burn inside my spirit. This is confirmation that the Lord has indeed placed me in the local church, where I have been recovered back to the person and desire of God!

J.A.
Back To Top

Our Experience of Jesus Christ as Grace in the church life

My wife and I were born 3,000 miles apart, (she was born in Mexico and I in Washington state) but the Lord sovereignly brought us together in the middle, in Tucson, Arizona. Esther, my wife, was raised in a Christian home with her Grandmother next door, who was very fervent for the Lord. Esther and I met and then she brought me to the Lord, we got married, and then I brought her to the local church. We came to the local church through two of my old high school friends. We quickly came to realize that this was something very different. These people dearly loved the Lord and were so genuine. We saw that they clearly understood what the Bible was saying and all could speak out the truths they had seen from it, just like in 1 Cor 14:26,31. However, it was very clear that the ones meeting as the local church were not remarkable in any other way. They were just normal, ordinary, people living God-filled and Spirit-filled lives. What was their secret? We found that the secret was in reading the works of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. These brothers spent most of their lives discovering, developing, and expounding the truths of the Bible. Their ministry is completely based on the Bible. They were shown truths and they also built upon truths discovered by dear Christians throughout the centuries. Reading their works causes us to love the Bible and the Lord Jesus even more. The practical result of this is the local church life. The church life is glorious! There is a care and a love that we've never seen anywhere else. It is a wonderful family that has supplied us both materially and spiritually. It is just like the church life as portrayed in the New Testament. One of the amazing things is that this church life extends throughout the world. We have seen saints from Europe, Russia, Latin America, Central America, Mexico, Taiwan, and Canada. They all speak the same thing. We've been to meetings throughout the western United States and even into Mexico. We're always invited into people's homes as family members. We're so encouraged to run the race, and accept Jesus as grace, in every moment and in every place, calling on the name of our dear Lord and Savior (2 Tim. 2:22). We searched long and hard for this kind of church life, but Praise the Lord! it found us. We can say we're home for good. As David writes in Psalm 84:10--"For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." We're so happy to spend the rest of our days as simple brothers and sisters living in God's house, which is the practical church life.

Roger & Esther Stepper
Back To Top


home | beliefs | brief history | testimonies | contact us | links

Copyright ę 2010. The Church in Spokane. All Rights Reserved.