Home   e-Library       中文 
e-Library Home |  Browse By Category |  Study the Bible    
 (Living Waters 1986 Winter)
TOC | Previous | Next


            The Lord Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mt 18:3)

Children have many weaknesses as well as strengths.  Our faith must not be likened to a child's, so ignorant, unable to discern between good and evil, and easily deceived.  He knows only how to reach out his hands to seek the grace of God, not how to sacrifice himself to render the love of the Lord.  He constantly requires help and support, but has no power to strengthen 'others.. He cannot bear even a little suffering but resorts to weeping, complaining or anger in facing difficulties.  We should learn from the simplicity of a child.  Our hearts should rely completely on God, trusting all things to Him just as a child that is weaned from his mother, is calm and feels extremely secure (Ps 131:2).  We should also have a child-like innocence, be strangers to evil (I Cor 14:20), and have a character of plainness, sincerely and guilelessness (n 1:47).  We should be equipped with a compassion and love which issues from a child-like conscience (Lk 10:33), and a heart of humility, willing to receive the teachings of God and man (Is 50:4).

A child-like faith will assure special favors from God.  God's will is to reveal to those whose faith are as babies (Mt 1 1:25, 26), and only from the mouth of a child could praise be perfected to God (Mt 21:16).

The Child-like Belief and Obedience

If a man comes to God, can fully believe His words as a child, is willing to obey and to perform His words in his daily living, he will surely be loved and blessed by God.  Unfortunately, after a person believes in the Lord for a long time, his faith gradually weakens even becomes paralyzed, losing all its vitality.  He shows no desire to pursue the words of God nor the determination or strength to follow His teachings.  Though he believes God is almighty, he is not willing to trust Him with all his heart.

Abraham was called by God out of Ur at the age of seventy-five.  He obeyed God with a child-like faith and journeyed to the unknown land of Canaan (Heb 11:8-10).  After twenty-four years he still possessed the kind of faith to wait upon God's promised son (Rom 4:19-21).  Later, he submitted himself as a child to follow God's command to offer Isaac upon Mt.  Moriah (Gen 22:1-3).  After sixty-five years, Abraham became an old man of 140 years of age.  He still relied upon God with a child-like faith to seek a wife for his son (Gen 24:1-7).  How precious is his unchangeable and immortal faith.  No wonder God blessed him in all things (Gen 24:1).

Though the centurion of Capernaum was an officer of the Roman army with a high position and authority, he possessed a child-like faith, believing that time and space could not limit the power of every word of the Lord.  If the Lord Jesus was willing to send out the command, the dying servant in his house would be immediately healed.  Consequently, the Lord accomplished for him according to his faith (Mt 8:8-13).

If the faith of a man could be likened to a grain of mustard seed, simple yet containing a vigorous life, and relies fully upon God's love and power, all he asks in accordance with God's will he surely will receive (Mt 1 7:20).  The Lord Jesus said, "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith" (Mt 21:22).

The Child-like Humbleness

            The Lord Jesus taught the disciples, "Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Mt 18:4)

After a person believes in the Lord for a long time, receives some Bible knowledge, has some experience in faith, and has also performed some holy work, it is very easy for him to become self satisfied, lose the child-like hunger for spiritual milk and is no longer willing to be taught. Attending the services becomes a formality to him and he listens to the words of God with an attitude of "tasting" the spiritual food.  He neither hungers nor thirsts for God, and his determination of pursuing the spiritual growth become totally diminished.  The word of God no longer touches him again nor can it produce any power to transform his life.  He only knows to criticize others and would not examine himself.  Consequently, the child-like tears of bitter repentance before God are never seen again.  He could not humble himself to receive others' advice and correction.  Contrarily, he argues and becomes angry.  He loves to glorify his own achievements and merits, but forgets to give glory to God who bestows upon him all things.  He always is jealous of the strength of others, would not humble himself to learn from them.  Such a person, filled with self-righteousness and pride, has already unconsciously separated himself from the grace of God.  For "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (Jas 4:6) How pitiful it would be if our faith had fallen into such a state.

The eunuch of Ethiopia, though he was rich, knowledgeable and possessed high status, still retained his child-like humbleness.  He traveled a great distance to Jerusalem to worship God.  After he paid a considerable price to purchase the scroll of Isaiah, he read the words of God with eagerness in the chariot on the return journey.  He asked the poor and little educated evangelist, Philip, in all humbleness to explain the teaching in the Words.  His humility and pursuing heart moved God whereby he obtained God's salvation (Act 8:36-39).

When Peter denied the Lord the third time, the cock crowed.  The Lord turned and looked upon him sorrowfully.

Immediately, he was reminded of the words of the Lord, and then he went out and wept bitterly.  Because of his child-like tears, he was forgiven by the Lord.  Later, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and received great power in preaching and performing miracles.  He went everywhere to preach the Gospel, his fame spread afar.  When instructed by God, he came to the house of Cornelius.  Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him, Peter humbly lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am a man." (Act 10:25,26) Peter never forgot he was but an ordinary man and was only a vessel used by God.  In Antioch, he was rebuked openly by a younger fellow-worker, Paul, but he accepted this humbly and quietly (Gal 2:11-14).  He still respected the gifts that Paul received from the Lord and called him a beloved brother (11 Pet 3:15).  This kind of child-like humbleness' is the main factor which enabled Peter to be the precious vessel of God and a pillar of the Church.

The Child-like Zeal

            The Lord said, "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth . . . so be zealous and repent." (Rev 3:16,19)

Those who first taste the grace of the Lord and are filled with the Holy Spirit, possess a genuine and zealous heart toward the Lord.  Their faith is positive; attending service, daily Bible reading and prayer, participating in the Holy work.  They show sincere hospitality toward others and constantly lead people to the Lord.  The fervor they create permeates the entire church.  Sadly, because of the entanglement of temptations and business of the world, their first zeal gradually fades away.  Their affection to God and man no longer can be discerned, their faith becomes indifferent and apathetic.  Attending the service, reading the Bible, prayer, working for the Lord or preaching the Gospel, is a heavy burden.  This kind of lukewarm faith is most disheartening to the Lord.  Eventually, they will be deserted by the Lord.

Nehemiah was exalted by God to be the wine bearer of the Persian king. in an extremely busy and comfortable life, his zeal to God never decreased.  When he heard the heartbreaking news of the destruction of Jerusalem and the city wall, his zeal burned within him even stronger than the fire that burned the HolyCity.  He wept and offered fasting prayer for Jerusalem, too grieved to sleep.  He determined to resign from his prestigious position and return to his nation to rebuild the city wall (Neh 1:3, 4; 2:12-15,1 7).  Though the Persian king commissioned him to be the governor of the land of Judah, in order to reduce the burden of his people, he was willing to sacrifice himself without taking any salary for twelve years.  Further, he generously provided food for 150 Jews and rulers (Neh 5:14-19).  His leadership which demonstrated great zeal moved God and many Jews to work with him.  Finally, the great task of rebuilding the city wall was accomplished.  Meanwhile, the faith of the Israelites was also revived.

God manifested His great zeal to save us (Is 9:6,7; 37:31,32).  After receiving His great love, God expects us to be zealous toward Him.  Knowledge and affection are the necessary ingredients of faith. if a person has only the knowledge of the truth, but without affection toward God and man, his faith is lifeless and empty and can never please God.  How much more, God desires us to pursue after Him out of our sincere zeal (S of S 2:7).

Child-like Love

            "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.  " (Rev 2:4)

Child-like love is issued from a clear conscience (I Tim 1:5).  This conscience is highly sensitive to the love of the Lord (Gal 2:20).  It responds to the sorrow and tribulations of men with a strong sense of sympathy and compassion (Mt 9:35-38).  Child-like love is apparent at the time when one is first called by the Lord and is filled by the Holy Spirit.  With a distinct desire to love God and man, he is able to be totally unselfish.  But, when a person lives comfortably in peace and satisfaction, his love diminishes to the confines of his own family if he fails to be watchful. Just like the prophecies of the end time: most men's love will grow cold." (Mt 24:12) "For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." (11 Tim 3:1-4) This is the greatest peril of Christians living in the last days.

Although Paul was a distinguished apostle, carrying with him the power of God and established churches wherever he went, he was never boastful nor did he ever lose his determination to repay the love of God. (I Tim 1: 1 2-15) He retained the child-like love.  For the sake of saving the souls of men, he deeply grieved and had unceasing anguish in his heart even willing to be accursed and cut off from Christ. (Rom 9:1-3) He dedicated himself totally and expended every effort to lead people to God. (11 Cor 12:15; Col 1:28-29) Paul was able to accomplish successfully the mission entrusted by God precisely because of his avid compassion for human souls.

David, similarly, was a king who had won numerous battles.  He never lost his child-like love.  He danced like a child in joy when the ark was returned from captivity (I Chron 15:29).  He was uneasy and grievous when he was dwelling in the house of cedar, knowing that the house of God had not been built (11 Sam 7:1-3).  He loved God and was resolved to build His house.  But, this did not meet with the approval of God.  David, however, would not give up his opportunities to repay the love of God.  He provided gold, silver, bronze, iron, precious stones, and lumber for the construction of the Temple.  He offered generously to God.  It was his love for God that touched the hearts of the chiefs and leaders of the tribes who joined him willingly in offering.  This enabled Solomon to erect the Temple of God immediately after his enthronement.  David took great delight in the Temple of God.  His fervent love for Jerusalem was the major reason that God blessed his house with prosperity (Ps 122:1-6).

Our love for God should increase with the passage of time.  The longer we have believed in the Lord, the deeper is our comprehension of the love of God.  The more we have tasted the love of God, the deeper should be our love toward Him.  Child-like love is the most touching and edifying (I Cor 8:1).  God will certainly reward us for all the good deeds we have done out of genuine love.  Only by so doing, we will be able to face God with confidence on the day of judgment (I in 4:17,18).


            May the Lord preserve our hearts, enable us to maintain the childlike purity and innocence, and hold fast the genuine child-like faith to the end in order to have a share in the Kingdom of God (Heb 3:14)

The Truth of the Holy Communion


Biblical references: Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25; Lk 22:14-20 jn 6:53-56; 1 Cor 10: 16, 17; 1 1:23-32.

The Holy Communion is one of the most important Sacraments in the Bible. it possesses spiritual mystery and efficacy.  The Lord Himself instituted this Sacrament (Mt 26:26-28) and commanded His disciples to do likewise (Lk 22:19).  It has a direct relationship with eternal life (in 6:53,54).  Therefore, a Christian's belief and practice of the Holy Communion should be in perfect accordance with the Bible.  Only by doing so, can he obtain the spiritual blessings that are promised with this Sacrament.

Unfortunately, the belief towards Holy Communion and its practice has deviated from the teachings of the Bible since the 4th Century till the present time - a period of approximately 1,600 years.  The original Holy Communion recorded in the Bible is simple and clear.  Because many church leaders and theologians did not rely upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in turn used human philosophy, they changed the doctrine of the Holy Communion into various complicated theological concepts.  Many controversial debates arose in Christendom, thereafter.  Some regard Holy Communion as a mere formality and symbolism; it has nothing to do with salvation.  Others think that the bread and cup are transformed physically into the flesh and blood of Jesus, after blessing and thanks has been given.  Some denominations even worship the elements used in their Holy Communion.  In practice, some use leavened bread, biscuits or special wafers for the Holy Communion.  As to the cup, some use grape wine, or diluted wines, while others use ordinary fruit juice or even Coca Cola.  Some churches insist that the Holy Communion be performed once a year and only on Passover.  Others specify that Holy Communion is for adults alone.

The writer would like to make use of this opportunity to introduce the original Holy Communion which is completely according to the Bible.  May the Lord guide us and enable us to receive His words with a child-like faith.


The Holy Communion possesses spiritual mystery and efficacy.  The Lord Jesus said: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day ... He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." (jn 6:53, 54, 56).  Therefore, those who receive the Holy Communion are promised these three blessings:

1.        The Lord's everlasting life in him.

2.       He will be resurrected on the last day.

3.       The Lord will be in communion with him in spirit.  He abides in the Lord, and the Lord in him.

All the above are spiritual blessings.  We desire the spiritual life of the Lord and not his physical life.  The Lord's spiritual life is eternal, while his physical life was only thirty-three years.  The Lord Jesus took the bread and cup and blessed it saying, "This is my body ... This is my blood of the new covenant." He did not say: "This symbolizes (signifies) my body ... this symbolizes (signifies) my blood of the new covenant." He also said: "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." (Jn 6:63).  Therefore, after giving thanks, through the promise of the Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit, the bread spiritually becomes the body of Jesus.  The cup spiritually becomes the blood of Jesus.  Thus, the Holy Communion has the effect of enabling the partakers to obtain the spiritual life of Jesus.  It is not a physical change, but has spiritual efficacy.


Since partaking of the Holy Communion is to receive the flesh and blood of the Lord, we should remember the suffering and crucifixion of the Lord (I Cori 1:24-26).  That is why the Lord took bread and said: "This is my body which is given for you.", and then he took the cup saying: "This cup is the new covenant in my blood." Those who partake of Holy Communion should deeply remember how the Lord underwent physical torment, scourging, and death on the cross.  In order to pay for the wages of our sins, the spirit of the Lord was left in Hades, and He tasted the bitterness of eternal death. (Mt 27:45,46; Ps 16:10).  When partaking of Holy Communion, we should make new resolutions to live for the Lord and to devote the rest of our lives to serve Him.

Not only must the belief of Holy Communion be in complete accordance with the Bible, its practice must also follow the example of the Lord.  Because the ingredients and method used by the Lord in the Holy Communion possessed spiritual implications, it must not be altered randomly.

According to the Bible, only one bread should be used (I Cor 10:17), because Jesus took one bread and said, "This is my body". Jesus has only one body, and this body signified His true church (Eph 4:4).  Through many partake of Holy Communion; they are all members of that one body of Christ.  It also reminds us the partakers should pursue after peace, unity and to be of one body (Eph 3:6; 4:2-4; Col 3:15).  The bread used must be unleavened.  Leaven spiritually signifies erroneous teachings (Mt 16:6, 12), malice and evil (I Cor 5:6-8).  The Lord Jesus is absolutely faultless and holy.  The unleavened bread also teaches the partakers to remove the old leaven and lead a holy life and abide in the Truth (I Pet 1:14-16).  The bread, after giving thanks, should be broken up by hand, for this is His body which is broken for the sins of many (Lk 22:19).

The cup of the Holy Communion is the fruit of the vine (Mt 26:29), not wine.  For wine is fermented, and fermentation is likened to leaven which spiritually signifies erroneous teachings and sins.  Therefore wine must not be used in Holy Communion.

There is no specific time mentioned in the Bible as to when Holy Communion should be held.  The Bible says, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup" (I Cor 11:26), indicates that the church in the apostolic time held Holy Communion frequently.  Therefore, we can hold Holy Communion as often as needed -once a month, every two months or several times a year.

Since receiving the Holy Communion is to receive the flesh and blood of the Lord in the spirit, we should not regard the bread and grape juice as ordinary food and drink.  In order to avoid being judged by the Lord, we should partake of Holy Communion with reverence; after examining ourselves, confessing and repenting our sins (I Cor 11:27-32).  Those who have not received baptism in accordance with the Bible, should not partake (Ex 12:43,48; Col 2:11,12).  Those who have committed mortal sins (I jn 5:16,17), such as: idolatry, sexual immorality, murder, robbery, drunkenness and etc. (I Cor 5:11-13; Gal 5:19-21), are not worthy to receive the flesh and blood of Christ.


May the Holy Spirit enlighten us, so that we can understand the truth of the Holy Communion (Eph 1: 17, 18).  May the Lord guide those who love Him and obey His words into His true church (Jn10:16), to share the promised blessings of this genuine Holy Communion.


Ei-Liang Lane

Garden GroveChurch

I was born into a family which is basically Buddhist and Taoist in its religious orientation.  Since my early childhood, I followed my parents and worshipped a host of idols.  This is not an unfamiliar phenomenon seen in many Chinese families.  I could have been spared many trials and much sorrow.

Before I was baptized into Christ, I remained a dedicated and devout Buddhist.  I observed almost irrationally Buddhist teachings and doctrines.  My husband advised me repeatedly that what Buddhism teaches is often beyond reason, such as the extreme vegetarian dietary practices and one-meal-a-day practice.  The life of isolation akin to that of a hermit which is advocated by Buddhism particulary, according to my husband, is both selfish, unproductive and does not benefit society at all.  Nevertheless, I pursued fervently Buddahood and nirvana, insisting on my own belief.  I became so deeply entrenched in Buddhist teachings; I was rendered incapable of breaking away from self-imposed confinements.  The result was that, not only did I never attain Buddhahood, I was possessed by demonic spirits.  I could hear strange voices from the demons.  They twisted my nose and moved my facial muscles.  I suffered from insomnia for quite some time.  Valium and other similar prescriptions all proved futile.  The extent of disturbance in my family caused by me was beyond description.  It was not until I realized that if Buddha was the true God, I should not have been suffering from all these.

In order to receive help to alleviate the pain I suffered, I visited innumerable well-known "Priests" and squandered away much of my family's resources.  At the point of utter despair, I recalled my previous experience of attending a family Bible study service at the True Jesus Church.  I was reminded of the great power of the Holy Spirit.  I picked up the phone and contacted Brother and Sister Chen and requested them to bring me to the church.  The church in Garden Grove was busy preparing for the Evangelical Services for the summer of 1985. 1 chose to stay with all the other participants at the church so that I could pray and listen to all the sermons.  I remember that, on the first night, I was very worried at bedtime.  The participants were required to go to bed at 10 o'clock.  But I was never able to fall asleep until at least two or three o'clock in the morning.  Thank God, the Pastors and the church members prayed for me with supplication.  I was surprised that I slept soundly throughout that night.  My chronic problem of insomnia was healed by the Lord that very night.

Furthermore, I learned much of the truth pertaining to salvation and was profoundly touched by the love of Christ.  The Pastors and the loving church members prayed for me unselfishly and unconditionally in the hope that the demons in me could be cast out and that the Lord would shower me with His wonderful blessings.  This was in clear contradiction with my previous experiences where I had to, first of all, pay a considerable amount of money before a Buddhist priest could be approached.  I was frequently moved to tears by the genuine love shown to me by the brothers and sisters of the church.  They cared about me and shared with me their warm affection.  I was convinced that the love of God and His warmth prevailed profusely in the True Jesus Church.  I was baptized into Christ on the last day of the Spiritual Convocation.  I am overjoyed that I have finally found the Lord, our Savior, and His true church.

I must hasten to add that I also suffered for quite some time constant pain in the lower abdomen.  It was so severe I could hardly stand it for long.  Gynecologists in Taiwan and the United States agreed that it was the side-effects from my earlier surgery, hence incurable.  But my abdominal pain was taken away and healed by the Lord.

After I was baptized, I was occasionally troubled by the demonic spirits.  When the Pastor and church members came to visit me at home, they discovered I had kept voluminous Buddhist literature and idols.  These were all destroyed in the name of the Lord following a prayer.  I have not been disturbed by those demonic spirits since.

I regained my health and was made whole by the love and great power of the Lord.  How true is the statement of the Lord, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Mt 19:26) Having witnessed the wonderful power and blessings of the Lord, my husband continued to join Bible study sessions and church services until he was also baptized into our Lord Jesus Christ in June 1986.  May all the glory be unto our Lord, the Savior.  I pray that He will have mercy on my children and guide them to receive t e most precious gift of His salvation.



Many churches today have magnificent buildings, sophisticated organization, specialists from diverse professions, and complicated theological concepts.  But they lack a vigorous life, spiritual power and the abidance of God.  Consequently, the church merely becomes an organization of men, teaching knowledge of their beliefs and conducting routine programs and activities.  It has very little effect upon the transformation and growth of their spiritual lives.  This makes it even more difficult for them to preach the gospel powerfully and save the souls of the world.  The services in the church have become only a formality and the church appears to be extremely weak and passive.  Sermons that shake the hearts of men cannot be heard and awesome miracles or power of the Holy Spirit cannot be experienced.  Even the worshipers begin to criticize each other and divide into cliques, causing the church situation to deteriorate.  The root of all these tragic events is a shortage of prayers.  It is a natural result when there are no praying leaders and believers.

At the time of the apostles, the churches did not have their own buildings and gathered mostly in the believers' homes (Act 12:12; Rom 16:3-5).  Their organization was very simple and the leaders did not possess profound knowledge or philosophy (Act 4:13).  They were merely a group of men with little education.  But the church at that time exhibited fully the power of God and bore countless testimonies of transformed lives.  They spread the gospel effectively everywhere, and the Lord worked great miracles and wonders through them.  The apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, shook many cities and villages (Act 5:12-16; 8:4-12).  Those who were saved were added daily, the church was filled with the love of God and spiritual joy, as if the Kingdom of Heaven was on earth.  The reason for all these happenings is because the church in the apostolic times was a praying church.  There were many workers and believers who lived praying lives.  Through daily prayer with intense supplication and deep communion with God, they obtained spiritual virtue and power.  Their influence caused the church to revive and expand.

Prayer - The Most Important Work of the Church

            "But we will devote ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word" (Act 6:4).

The early church was established by prayer.  Before the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, the church record was but a piece of blank paper which had no written account of victory.  At that time, the disciples were timid and feared death. jealousy, arrogance, weakness and deficiency in faith were often seen.  They were like a divided and powerless army and could not withstand any attack from Satan.  Fortunately, they obeyed the instructions of the Lord: prayed with fervency and waited upon the power from above.  After about ten days of devoted prayer, the Holy Spirit descended mightily, every disciple was filled with the Spirit of God, they were changed into Christian soldiers and the church immediately prospered and greatly developed.  When they experienced this power, they realized the importance of prayer and wherever they went they built a praying church.  They sent workers by prayer (Act 13:2,3).  They performed healing, cast out demons (Act 4:29-31) and defeated tribulations and persecutions with the weapon of prayer (Act 12:5).  In those days, the church relied upon prayer to conquer all difficulties.  Because they respected God and relied upon Him with all their hearts, they lived in His care and grace daily.  Those who joined received God's bountiful blessings.  Their example is exactly what we need in today's church.

Prayer and preaching are the most essential works of the church, but prayer is even more important than preaching.  Without sufficient time to offer earnest prayer, it will be impossible to preach the gospel effectively.  The heart of man will not be prepared to obtain God's salvation and it will be more difficult for him to receive the Holy Spirit or the grace of God.  Therefore, the church should not only spread the gospel actively, but devote more effort to the work of prayer.


            "Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 11 (Ex 17. 1 1)

All the precious workers of God in the Bible were praying individuals.  They left prominent examples of praying lives.  They devoted tremendous amounts of time to prayer; they afflicted their flesh and offered prolonged fasting prayers, in order to seek after God's power and His abidance.  The entire Bible is filled with such glorious records of prayers.  All their accomplishments of God's great task are the result of prayer, if the worker of God does not labor hard in prayer, God will not abide with him, and henceforth he can do nothing.

Abraham built altars and lived a praying life (Gen 12:7-8), so he became the friend of God (jas 2:23).  By the hand of persistent prayer, he delivered Lot out of the city of Sodom as a log being drawn from fire (Gen 18:22-33; 19:29).  Jacob wept and prayed all night at the Ford of jabbok (Hos 12:3-5) and wrestled with an angel.  His prayer not only moved God to change Esau's heart from enmity to compassion, but also altered his own fate.  Henceforth, he was made a prince of God, Israel (Gen 32:22-29; 33:4).

Moses was a praying man of God.  It took 40 years of discipline for him to learn prayer.  When he prayed with great faith, the Red Sea opened and the nation of Israel was saved (Ex 14:13-31).  He walked alone to the top of Mt.  Sinai where he fasted and prayed 40 days and nights with no food or water.  His contrite pleading turned aside God's anger and the sins of Aaron and the Israelites were pardoned (Deut 9:18-20; Ps 106:23).  He went up the mountain at Rephidim, raising his hand to pray until the sunset.  This assured a great victory in the battle (Ex 1 7:8-1 3).  If Moses had not prayed constantly in such a manner, he would not have been able to deliver the people of Israel out of Egypt, through the desert and into Caanan.

Joshua learned to be a praying general from Moses.  At an extremely crucial moment of the battle, he called upon the Lord.  Unprecedented, the sun and moon stood still for about one day, so that the Israelites could destroy their mighty enemy (josh 10:12-14).

Elijah was a praying prophet.  At the time of total bankruptcy of the faith of the Israelites, the entire nation was at the brink of death, he alone boldly challenged 850 false prophets at the foot of Mt.  Carmel.  In faith he sent out a strong signal to God and fire descended from heaven and burned all the sacrifices on the altar.  This turned the hearts of the whole nation to God.  Then he climbed to the top of Mt.  Carmel and prayed with supplication seven times.  There came showers of rain that ended three and a half years of drought and saved the whole nation. (I Kgs 18:36-46).

Nehemiah was a praying leader.  He wept and fasted for the holy city of Jerusalem.  His prayer moved God to touch the heart of the Persian king to allow him to return to rebuild the holy city (Neh 1:4; 2:4-9).  He relied upon prayer to overcome all the hindrances and hardships.  Finally, he accomplished the task of rebuilding the city's wall (Neh 5:19; 6:14).

Esther was a praying queen.  She fasted and prayed three days and nights with all the Jews in the city of Shushan in order to rescue the lives of her nation (Est 4:15-1 7).

Daniel was a praying president of the kingdom of Persia.  An excellent spirit was formed through his consistent praying life of three times a day.  Through his earnest prayers, God revealed to him the mystery of His great plan for the world.  He became a powerful living witness forgod in twogreat empires (Dan 6:10,1 1; 10:10-12).

The Lord Jesus was a teacher of prayer (Lk II:]).  He devoted Himself totally to the work of prayer every day, in order to accomplish the great task of salvation.  He left countless footprints of prayer in the wilderness (Mk 1:35; Lk 5:16), upon the mountain (Mt 14:22-25; Lk 6:12-13), in the garden of Gethsemane (Lk 22:39-44; Heb 5:7) and even when he was dying on the cross (Lk 23:34,46).  Through His timeless prayers, he obtained tremendous power to overcome all temptations from Satan and performed mighty miracles.  Prayer also afforded Him the strength to undertake all the sufferings, even laying down His life on the cross for the sake of all mankind.  In the process of training the disciples, the Lord Jesus taught them the most important lesson - prayer.  He revealed the secret of prayer to His disciples: pray with a pure heart (Mt 5:8); pray in secret by closing the door of the heart (Mt 6:6); ask, seek and knock in prayer (Mt 7:7); and pray with importunity (Lk 11:8).  He specially took Peter, James and John to pray and let them experience how great is the power of prayer.  It can raise the dead to life (Lk 8:49-56), create a clean heart and a Christlike character (Lk 9:28-36), put to death all the lust of the flesh, and make a person surrender totally to God's will (Mt 26:36-44).  After the apostles received the Holy Spirit - the prime mover of prayer, they recalled all the teachings of the Lord.  They began to devote themselves to a praying life and became praying workers.

Peter prayed daily at set times (Act 3:]; 10:9), and he often prayed together with his praying partner, John.  Hence, God worked with them, performing many miracles, and gave the Holy Spirit to those

on whom they laid their hands (Act 3:2-7; 8:14-17).  Paul considered prayer as the first priority in his life, When he came to Jerusalem, he did not have fellowship with the apostles.  His greatest desire was to go to the temple to commune with the Lord (Act 22:17).  Through profound prayer he learned the mystery of God and received His instructions.  God gave him the power of the Holy Spirit and various spiritual gifts, making him the most valuable vessel in the New Testament era.

How much more does today's church require such praying workers!  Through their prayers, the truth and grace of God may abundantly be brought to those who believed, The church will be powerless and fruitless if there are no praying workers.  This loss is impossible to regain.


            "Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may he healed.  The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.  " (Jas 5:16)

The believers in the apostolic time were mostly praying believers.  They witnessed the praying life of their leaders and their hearts were shaken by the effective power of prayer.  They spent ample time to pray when they assembled.  In daily living, they learned to rely upon the Lord in all things by prayer.  Every day they communed with God at fixed times.  Therefore, in those days, spiritually strong Christians could be seen everywhere.  They had strength to keep the commandments of God, overcome the world and live a holy life.  Every one of them became Christian soldiers and God worked with them, spreading the gospel far and wide, saving many souls (Act 11: 1 9-21).

If the believers today would emphasize prayer, set aside more time to devote them to prayer, certainly they would be able to live a victorious life.  Their hearts will be filled with spiritual joy and satisfaction, and will accomplish wonderful works for the

Lord. Scripture says "Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are (Jas 5:17) This distinctly tells us that every person can be as spiritually powerful as Elijah if only he would live a praying life.  Through one's prayers of supplication, God will definitely shower His blessing upon him.  This kind of praying man is an indispensable treasure in his family and church.


May the Spirit of the Lord enlighten our hearts so we may understand that prayer is the most important work in life. We plead the Lord will awaken and persuade us to pray every day, and help us to live a powerful praying life.

Testimonies of the Missionary

            Trip in West Africa


Under the guidance of God, the International Assembly sent Deacon Joseph Shek and Pastor John Lo to perform missionary work in Liberia, Ghana and Nigeria.  The trip took place between March 4 and May 2, 1986,

Due to the earnest prayer intercession of the brothers and sisters who love the Lord and their concern with world evangelism, God truly worked with them and opened wide the door of salvation.  He poured out abundantly His Holy Spirit and manifested His visions and miracles.  During the entire journey a total of 528 received water baptism, 229 received the Holy Spirit, 431 saw visions and 58 were healed through the power of the Lord.  May all glory, praise and thanks be given unto God in heaven.  We also prayed that the Lord would give double portion of His blessings to those who strived hard to support the African ministry with their offerings and daily prayers.  Seven weeks after the Lord called the wife of Pastor Lo to rest, he immediately resumed the heavy responsibility of the missionary work in Africa.  As a grieving soldier being sent to the battlefield, he felt deeply in need of the help and abidance of the Lord and prayed earnestly.  Thanks to the Lord, Pastor Lo was greatly comforted and strengthened because God was working with them during the entire trip.  He also deeply experienced the Lord's word.  "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (11 Cor 12:9)

The objectives of this missionary trip were the evangelism of the newly developed areas, holding evangelical and spiritual convocations in our churches in various places and conducting Workers' Seminars to train the local ministerial personnel.  The work was completed successfully by the guidance of the Lord.


In the three weeks of work in Liberia, the missionaries held seven evangelical and spiritual convocations in different places and finally there was a Workers' Seminar and a National Church Conference.  A total of 15 delegates attended this conference.  Important issues of evangelism, pastoring, finance and church building construction were discussed.  Seven Board Members of the Evangelism-Coordination Council were elected.  During the period of work in Liberia, there were a total of 229 people baptized, 102 received the Holy Spirit, 216 saw visions and 12 sick people were healed.  Presently, our church membership in Liberia is about 500 people.

Prayers were very fervent and powerful during many of the convocations.  Many people were filled with the Holy Spirit.  They saw wonderful visions of glorious lights, tongues of fire, angels with white garments, heavenly ladders, white doves and the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus on the cross.  A sister saw a Roman soldier pierce the side of the crucified Lord with a long spear and immediately blood and water flowed out.  She was greatly shocked and terrified.  She wept bitterly.  A brother saw an angel walking the chapel and recorded the attendance and the attitude of the worshipers.  There was an eight years old boy who saw the Lord Jesus give everyone a Bible but not him.  He began to cry and reached out his hands to Jesus.  When the Lord handed a Bible to him, he discovered the nail print in the hand of the Lord.  Finally, some of the sick people were healed instantly when they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

In Liberia, there are many who hunger and thirst for the grace and the truth of God.  If the missionary work could be intensified, a greater harvest could be reaped.


During the four weeks of work in Ghana, five evangelical and spiritual convocations, one Workers' Seminar and several Bible studies with the leaders of other denominations were held.  A total of 185 received baptism, III received the Holy Spirit, and 124 saw visions and 14 people were healed by the Lord.  Presently our membership in Ghana exceeds 200.

In two specific prayers, the Holy Spirit worked mightily.  In each occasion, 8 received the Holy Spirit, and 10 saw visions.  On April 6th, they went to Kipi village to preach to an old man who was afflicted with severe asthma.  By God's wonderful grace, in that little evangelical service, 3 accepted baptisms, 4 received the Holy Spirit and 2 saw visions.  Meanwhile that old man's sickness greatly improved through the healing of the Lord.  Among many wonderful visions, some saw the HeavenlyKingdom.  One person who was taken up into heaven, saw that the door was open, and the Lord Jesus was preparing mansions for the chosen ones.  Another saw a glorious heavenly city.  In five baptisms, 14 witnessed the vision of the precious blood of Jesus in the water.

While God's work was progressing, the missionaries were attacked by Satan many times.  On arriving in Accra, Deacon Joseph Shek was suddenly stricken with malaria and became seriously ill.  He experienced vomiting and diarrhea, which occurred more than ten times a day.  His whole body shoo!, with chills, then became hot with fever; he perspired profusely.  After the earnest prayer of many members, he was healed by the Lord and recovered completely in two days.  On April 24th, they separated to work in different places.  Pastor Lo took a taxi to a distant city for evangelical work.  Unexpectedly the tires of the car went flat twice while on the highway.  Fortunately, under the Lord's protection, there was no accident or injury.

The society in Ghana is quite stable and secure.  Living expenses are considerably low.  Many people are educated and pursue after the truth.  It is an excellent base for the missionary work.  May the Lord strengthen our churches in Ghana.


Within 12 days work in Nigeria, 9 evangelical and spiritual convocations were held in various places.  Because of the tight schedule and heavy work load, Deacon Shek and Pastor Lo had to separate to work in difference places most of the time. in the last three days, a Workers' Seminar and National Church Conference was held in our church in Port Harcourt.  Forty people attended the conference.  Seven new committee members were elected to the Evangelism-Coordination Council.

Though the journey in Nigeria was the shortest, God opened the door of grace and worked mightily with them.  There was a total of 114 baptized, 86 received the Holy Spirit, 91 visions and 32 were healed by the Lord.  Presently, in Nigeria, we have a membership of about 2,200, 18 churches and 6 prayer houses.

On the evening of their arrival in Nigeria, a service was held immediately at the Port Harcourt church.  Surprisingly, the Holy Spirit descended like a shower.  During the last prayer, 12 received the Holy Spirit, 2 saw visions.  They were greatly encouraged and firmly believed that the Lord will lead the work ahead.

On April 22nd, Pastor Lo went with the local minister to a village to perform outdoor evangelism.  The worship place was located next to the road and was a simple booth covered with palm leaves.  More than 130 newcomers attended.  In order to be undisturbed during prayer, two small rooms of a private house next to the booths were borrowed.  More than 60 people packed into the rooms and walkways.  They prayed earnestly with loud voices, crying and perspiring to the Lord.  Miraculously, 17 received the Holy Spirit, 7 saw visions during the 40 minutes prayer.

On April 26th, Deacon Shek went to a church district to hold a spiritual convocation.  During prayer, a sick sister saw Jesus coming to her and He said, "Your sickness will be healed." Immediately she experienced the power of the Lord and her sickness was cured.  This testimony increased the faith of the entire church so that everyone prayed even more fervently during the next prayer.  By the power of the Lord, I 0 people were healed.

Among those healed during this journey in Nigeria were some who possessed high fever, malaria, spinal pain, heart diseases and women's illnesses.  There were many wonderful visions given.  A brother saw the Lord providing a great feast and every guest attending was wearing a white garment.  A sister saw three visions during a baptism. in the prayer before the baptism, she saw a circle of red blood in the baptismal site; during the baptism s he saw many white doves flying in the sky above the water; after baptism, she saw the door of heaven open and all those who were baptized wore white garments and entered the heavenly city, then the door was closed and many white doves appeared again.  During a prayer at the Workers' Seminar, the Lord revealed to a minister while he was filled with the Holy Spirit that, among three church districts, there were church board members and believers who did not observe the commandments of God and whose conduct was unworthy of the Lord.  God warned them to repent.

The average member in Nigeria possesses a simple faith and prays earnestly, therefore, many miracles and wonders take place.  On April 29th, a brother drove Deacon Shek to a spiritual convocation in a church district.  Because the road condition was extremely bumpy, the spare tire of this car was lost.  The next morning that brother discovered that he had a flat tire.  He was extremely worried because there was no place to repair the tire or to buy a new one in that area.  At that time he was reminded by the Holy Spirit, "Why not rely upon the Lord with all your heart?" He then went into the room and prayed earnestly with faith.  After an hour of prayer, he returned to his car and discovered the Lord's mighty hand had fixed his tire - it was filled with air.  He was so excited; he leaped up and down giving praise and thanks to God.  After the spiritual convocation, they came back with that car safely.  That flat tire was truly repaired by the Lord.

On April 28th, Pastor Lo went to the farthest church district to hold a spiritual convocation.  While preaching, he suddenly felt an excruciating pain in his right hip.  The pain became so intense, he found it difficult to walk or lie down.  This was probably due to the long missionary journey - sitting for long periods in planes and cars.  At that time Deacon Shek was working at another place and could not come to help him.  He prayed earnestly with tears and asked the Lord to help him so that he might finish the important work of baptism, foot washing and Holy Communion the next day.  Although he experienced extreme hardship in walking into the water to perform baptism, thanks to the mercy of the Lord, he was completely healed while he was in the water.  He never felt the pain again.

Our church in Nigeria has a history of seven years.  The faiths of the members have been generally rooted.  May the Lord continue to help the growth of the Nigeria churches so that they may become mature and self-supporting.


Since last year, the perfect gospel has spread from one nation to two other nations.  By the wonderful guidance of God ' in a short span of time, His Kingdom has suddenly expanded.  May the Lord continue to carry on His own work, adding people to his Kingdom (Is 26:15).  We hope our brothers and sisters throughout the world will pray diligently for the African ministry.

Presently, in these three nations of West Africa, we have 10 localities that desperately need church buildings.  According to the policy of our International Assembly, we will help them with only 50% of the cost.  Unfortunately the price of the building material has increased two to three times within the last two years because of inflation.  A simple church building which can accommodate 150 people costs between $3,000 and $10,000 U.S. dollars depending upon the nation.  Besides this need, there are more church buildings which will require our support.  Therefore, we hope our members throughout the world will continue to offer their financial support to the African ministry until they are able to be self-supporting.  "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work." (11 Cor 9:6, 8).  We truly believe that this is one of the best opportunities for the members who live a wealthier life to obtain God's blessings and store up treasures in Heaven.  The Lord Jesus said, "it is more blessed to give than to receive."(Act 20:35).  How great is the value of the money we can offer to the work of spreading the gospel!

Not only will it help the holy work progress, but many souls will also be saved.

We pray that the Lord will move many more workers, who can preach in English or French, to dedicate their lives to the African ministry, helping with the work of evangelism, pastoring, ministerial training, and religious education.  For the Lord Jesus says, "Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then come harvest?  Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reaped received wages, and gathered fruit unto life eternal: that both he that sowed and he that reaped may rejoice together." (In 4:35,36)