Loving God’s People

Since I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior at the age of 13, He has placed within my heart a love for all of God’s children and a seeking after fellowship with my large, universal, heavenly family. My upbringing in a denomination did nothing to meet my spiritual need, much less show me what that spiritual need was. But thank the Lord, due to the faithfulness of a Christian friend, I was brought to a meeting of Junior High Christians (a Youth for Christ Club meeting) and was helped to pray and receive the living Christ.

Later, I was led by the Lord to attend Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where I trained for the ministry. I very much enjoyed the study of God’s word, learning Greek, a very helpful tool in years to come, and the practice of sharing Christ with others. But what saddened my heart was seeing many of my fellow students being preoccupied with teachings, doctrines and practices and falling away from their first love for the Lord.

Following graduation from MBI, I joined the Army, which placed all my theology into a very practical proving ground, where your living and your person count more than your “beliefs”. During the next four years, I had the opportunity to meet with many dear brothers and sisters in the Lord in many different denominations. Eventually, my heart’s cry was for the restoration of the oneness among believers that I read about in the Bible but saw little of among my contemporaries.

Toward the end of my term of military service, I began to read books by Watchman Nee, including Sit, Walk, Stand and The Normal Christian Life. My, how my spirit was refreshed! In fact, I began to learn for the first time that I even had a human spirit and that Christ Himself, as the life-giving Spirit, was dwelling in my spirit. I also began to taste newness in my Christian life.

Then, by the Lord’s providence, I came in contact with the church in Los Angeles and was delighted to learn that the Lord was bringing together a group of people to actually practice what others only talked about: a life in the church based on the unique ground of oneness in Christ and nurtured with His own life. The love of the believers toward each other, with no pretense or doctrinal squabbles, was what I was longing for. I was home!

In the 29 years since that day, I have continued to fellowship with the local churches. I have also had the pleasure of reading and listening to the ministry of Witness Lee, Watchman Nee’s co-worker.

My wife of over 26 years and our four children have also been greatly blessed by being in this way. The fellowship and ministry I receive in the church keeps me close to my Lord and helps me daily to live the life of Christ on my job, in my home and in all walks of life. Having studied Greek in Bible school and being intimately familiar with the teachings and beliefs of fundamental, evangelical Christianity, I can testify that the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee and the life-giving teachings found in “the” local churches are both sound and orthodox, “cutting straight the word of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Thank the Lord that He enlightened me to see what the economy of the mystery is, Christ and the church! (Eph. 3:9; 5:32)

Bill Janzen

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