This week we will finish The Training and the Practice of the Vital Groups and start on a new book, Fellowship Concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups for the God-ordained way reading schedule for the churches in Anaheim, Cypress, and Orange. Detailed information including the full reading schedule is available at churchinanaheim.org/gowreading/.
This week we will be reading The Training and the Practice of the Vital Groups, Message 13, and Fellowship Concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups, Message 1. (Please note: Because the Introductory Word is counted as a chapter on ministrybooks.org, Chapter 13 is listed as chapter 14 there.) To read these portions online ministrybooks.org use the following links: The Training and Practice of the Vital Groups and Fellowship Concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups.
The Training and the Practice of the Vital Groups message 13 shows us that Christ displayed the two possible ways of people’s life and work before God in the decree of the kingdom’s constitution: the broad way and the narrow way. This is shared in the vital group training because the decree of the kingdom’s constitution is altogether a matter of regulating God’s people’s life and work. The God-ordained way is to have a living and a working which are always narrowed and constricted. The gate is narrow and the way is constricted which leads to life. We should not expect to do a big work and to become a great person. We should just live normally, commonly, always entering through the narrow gate and walking on the constricted way. Then we will bear remaining fruit each year.
Fellowship Concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups was spoken by Witness Lee in Anaheim, CA, from August 1992 through April 1993. Message 1 is fellowship concerning the practice of the group meetings in the God-ordained way. The group meeting is the crucial matter in the Lord’s ordained way. The group meetings are the life line of the God-ordained way. As long as we have not touched the group meetings, we have hardly begun to practice the God-ordained way. The big meetings are like the trunk of a tree, but a trunk alone cannot bear fruit. The trunk needs tender, fresh branches. It is the branches that can bear fruit. In the church life the branches are the groups. In addition, in the United States, we need to find a way to gain the Caucasian people. We must reconsider our way. We cannot go on contentedly, remaining the same for another year. In the recovery today there is a real warfare, a real need. All the saints should bear a burden to pray for this.
Quote from Message 13: “What is it to be vital? To be vital is to be common. We Christians should be common in a living way. We should always contact the Lord, trying our best to remain in our spirit, doing everything according to the spirit, and praying unceasingly. This makes us a common believer, a vital believer.”
Quote from Message 1: “We need to realize that our present situation is very desperate. We have been speaking concerning the God-ordained way in both Taiwan and the United States for seven and a half years, but we have not seen a definite result. The word that we released has been more than clear, stressing that the group meeting is the crucial matter in the Lord’s ordained way. We said that the group meetings should constitute eighty percent of the church life, and we also said that the gospel preaching, the nourishing, the cherishing, the feeding, and the perfecting should be done in the groups. But where are the groups, and where are the group meetings? We heard and received the word, and we even prayed much concerning this matter, but where is the definite building up of the groups? Among the churches there are some group meetings, but these are not the group meetings we intend to build up that can occupy eighty percent of the church life.”
Week 16: July 22nd through July 28th
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