I am a born-again, blood-washed Christian who has been meeting regularly with the Christians in the local churches since my college days. I graduated with a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Texas in Austin in 1985. While I was in the Department of Civil Engineering on that campus, I had the privilege to study with the late Dr. Robert Herman, one of the first group of scientists who initiated the Big Bang Theory of the universe, and who was also attributed as the father of modern traffic theory and was a member of the National Academy of Engineering. I had numerous publications directly to my credit in that field, and a number of other publications that I participated as assistant. After my graduation from the University of Texas at Austin, I began to fulfill my long-term dream of becoming a missionary. Through the guidance and encouragement of Witness Lee, I began to pursue the biblical languages after I started serving the Lord. I have had the opportunity to study Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Aramaic, and other cognate Semitic languages and linguistics, the University of California in Los Angeles, the University of California in Irvine, the Hebrew University at Jerusalem, and the University of California in San Diego. I studied to the third year of Classical Attic Greek in University of California in Irvine. I studied in Israel in the Hebrew Language Department at the University of Jerusalem where there are many distinguished and accomplished world-renowned scholars in the field of Hebrew Biblical studies, such as Dr. Avi Hurvitz, and Dr. E. Tov. I had the privilege to associate with them and learn from them. I also studied with Professor David Noel Freedman and the group of Old Testament biblical scholars at the University of California at San Diego. Professor David Noel Freedman was the student of the renowned conservative American Orientalist, the late Dr. William Foxwell Albright at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Freedman shared with Dr. Albright the general editorship of the Anchor Bible series while Dr. Albright was still alive, and later took over that editorship after the latter’s death. He is a renowned writer and lecturer in his field, with many publications to his credit. I have obtained my M.A. degree from the University of California at San Diego.
I am grateful to many of my teachers in the past, especially those in the field of biblical languages and linguistics both in America and in Israel for sharing their knowledge with me; in particular, I am very grateful to Prof. David Noel Freedman for his rich knowledge of his field and his expert instructions in the Hebrew Bible. However, I have, never until this day, met a person like Witness Lee, whose knowledge of the universe, of history, of human society, and of human life, was so deep and profound. He imparted the divine truths to me. Even though I have studied classical and New Testament Greek and classical Hebrew and Aramaic, I have to testify that I have never learned more about the Bible than from Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. Watchman Nee’s book, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, unveiled to me the Divine Trinity hidden in the life of the patriarchs. His The Glorious Church revealed to me the hidden secret of the universe, the Divine romance, as concealed in the types of the Bible. His many books are always focused on the central revelation of the holy Scripture, and have given me much help in both Christian truth and Christian practice. Watchman Nee and Witness Lee have not only helped me in the black and white of the Bible, which many other teachers have helped me with though at different angels. Most importantly, they have guided me to go beyond the surface of the Divine Scripture, to go underneath the appearance of the Word, to the very bottom, the gold ore that crouches beneath in the deep. They have imparted into me a deep love for God’s Word. Without their opening the Word of God to me, I would be only skimming on the surface of the Bible. I am very, very grateful to them for their labor of love, their unselfish and unstingy sacrifice, in imparting the central revelation contained in His holy Word. Time and again I have found that the central revelation that they have imparted is not only high and pure, it is the revelation that God wants His children to know in this age. To know Greek and Hebrew, yet not know the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, would have meant a big loss in my life.
As Christian teachers, they were not only teaching the truths, but above all, they practiced what they taught.
I have not known Watchman Nee in person, yet I have known Witness Lee in person. I would say that Witness Lee’s living could be characterized by this one phrase: “for to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). His over seventy years of labor were not to build up something for himself; but to build up the Body of Christ, to “fill up that which is lacking of the affliction which is in my flesh for His Body” (Col. 1:24). He has traveled from North China, through Central and South China, to Taiwan and the Philippines, and eventually to the United States, for the building up of the Body of Christ. He is faithful to the teaching of Watchman Nee and to his Master Who called him. His faithfulness to Watchman Nee, not only on the spiritual side, but also on the practical side, remained strong even to the very last days of his ministry. He stood on the shoulders of Watchman Nee and has seen further.
I do thank the Lord for these two great patterns that He has given to His children in this age, that we may know how to love Him, and how to pursue after Him, and how to be for His Body. I am not ashamed to say that I am a student of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. In fact, it is truly a privilege and great honor to learn from them. This present age is the night, while the next age, the age of the millennium after the Lord’s coming back, is the day. In this dark night, I do thank the Lord that I have both Watchman Nee and Witness Lee as two brightly shining stars in this dark night. I do pray that I would continue in the steps of these two ministers of the age, to love Him and His Body, till the day dawns, when our lovely Bridegroom will appear.