There are many versions of the Bible - Recovery Version Bible is one of the latest one - and if you’re a seeking believer, you will do a lot of research and study of the word of God. I was born in Romania, and as I grew up my parents instilled in me a love for the Bible. They even tell me that when I was five-six years old they would find me in the morning at 6-7 am reading my small printed Bible, which I treasured.
I loved the stories in the Bible, the history, the psalms, the law of God, and most of all, the New Testament. I mean, in what other book can you find a definition and explanation of such an amazing God? Even when man sinned and went far away from God, He still loved man and did everything to gain man back to Him. It’s amazing how Abraham was called by God and how God chose Israel to be His people, and how throughout the centuries there has been a lot of problems in their relationship – yet God still loved them!
And then, in the New Testament, you see so much more: God chose some who were not Jews to be His people, the church! Wow! In the Gospels we see that God became a man, lived a perfect human life on earth, died an all-inclusive death on the cross, resurrected, and then ascended to the heavens. Then, He came as the life-giving Spirit and He regenerates many believers for His Body, His expression on the earth. Now God has a spiritual people, the church, which are His chosen ones…Wow, I just love the Bible!
The Many Translations of the Bible
Coming back to the text of the Bible and my experience. As I grew up I read many versions of the Bible (in Romanian we had 3 or 4), and I loved to see what’s the difference. The newer a translation was, the more you got out of the text. Then, after I learned English and got in touch with people in the English-speaking world, I got to have a few versions of the Bible.
I got a King James version, a New King James version, a New International Version, a Darby Version, etc. And then I got a Palm and later a Pocket PC, and with e-sword I managed to get as many as 30-40 versions of the Bible, including the Greek New Testament, an interlinear (Greek-English, printed copy), the Vulgata, French versions, etc.
The meanings of the words in Greek are so much richer than English or even Romanian can express, so I had a friend who would sometimes explain the meaning of a word like “spirit” (pneuma in Gk), and I just loved the Lord and the word much more! I really appreciate all the versions of the Bible, and I wouldn’t insist on a certain version being better than another one.
Until I got my hands on a very precious Recovery Version of the New Testament, sometimes in the early 2000′s. Wow, when I started reading the text, first of all I understood it – it’s plain, simple, in good English! Then there are footnotes, and sometimes the footnotes are even longer than the verses – they really go deeper into the meaning of the Word of God in the light of God’s plan, His economy. I have never loved the Word of God so much as from the time I got a Holy Bible Recovery Version!
Recovery Version Bible: Why I love it
I love the Lord, and I love His Word. Yet many times, no matter how much I love the Lord and even “how smart I am”, I just can’t get certain meanings or connections between verses and chapters in the Bible. I need help. I need someone to kind of point the way and give me a deeper meaning. I read books by C.H. Mackintosh, J. N. Darby, Charles Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor, Andrew Murray, and many other spiritual writers, including Watchman Nee, Oswald Chambers, Madame Guyon, Witness Lee, etc.
The riches the Lord brought to light through all these dear saints throughout the ages are simply amazing! Some are easy to read, others are hard to understand, while even others need you to have a dictionary with you all the time. However, when I started reading the footnotes in the Recovery Version, I simply understood the meaning of the text (first of all) and then I was brought into a deeper appreciation of the Bible and a sweeter love for the Lord!
Here are some things that I really love about the Recovery Version:
The Outline of the Recovery Version – Each book of the Bible has a subject, which encapsulates the meaning and essence of the book, and there’s an outline which gives you a sense of what the book, the chapters, and the verses talk about. Many times I thought that the miracles performed by the Lord are “randomly arranged” in the different Gospels – but just read the outline, you will see the big picture!
Recovery Version Footnotes - they are SO RICH! So deep. So sweet. So enlightening. I have no words to describe some of these notes. They not only give you the literal translation of some words (sometimes), the meaning of the verse, or the context of that verse – they bring you into a deeper appreciation of God, His economy, and His Word. Many times I read a verse and then the footnote and I just said, AMEN! I love You, Lord! (I’ll give some examples later; see some here)
The Cross-References - it is good to have cross references to similar passages in the Bible, and it is even better to have references to verses that express the same burden, principle, or meaning.
The Readability of the Recovery Version – It is so easy to read the text, so clear to understand, and so good to get a richer meaning of the Bible! The up-to-date expressions, language, and writing, including the elevated language of the footnotes gives you the impression that you read a commentary on the Bible and yet you understand it perfectly and you have an Amen! in your being.
The riches brought out by the Recovery Version – I personally recommend the following footnotes for your prayerful reading: Acts 2:21 (the note on calling on the name of the Lord), 2 Cor. 13:14 (footnote on the Triune God), John 3:16 (footnote on, believing INTO Him), 1 Cor. 15:45 (note on, life-giving Spirit), Matt. 1:1 (and note on Jesus, the first and last name of the Bible), John 1:14 (the note on God – the Word – becoming flesh), Matt. 26:8 (note on why this Waste?), 2 Cor. 3:18 (footnote 11, on the Lord Spirit), etc.
The thorough analysis and deeper study of certain terms - do you know how many kinds of Greek words are there for LIFE? (hint: zoe, psuche, and bios – divine, psychological, and biological) How many kinds of love are there in John 21? (more than 1!) What is the real meaning and how many places in the Bible the word TRUTH is used? There are so many word studies in the Recovery Version, that you will “feel like a scholar” while at the same time love the Lord more! It’s quite cool when you not only understand the Word but are also brought into an appreciation of God and His plan…
The charts - there are some very good charts like the one explaining the genealogy of the Lord’s ancestors, the chart of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the Heavens, etc. They require many verses and much study to fully comprehend…
The spirit of the translator and of the ones who wrote the footnotes in the Recovery Version. It is not only the development of a language, the new meanings of certain words, or the more accurate translation possible that should be the base of a new version of the Bible. It is the increase of the Lord’s light, the advance of the divine revelation, and the accumulation of the divine truth released to God’s people, including the pure spirit of the translators and compilers that make the Recovery Version a great translation with excellent footnotes!
Brother Witness Lee had inherited so much from brother Watchman Nee, and he released many messages and compiled many footnotes for the Bible Recovery Version – and today we can benefit from all his labor in the Lord!
The Recovery Version is now available FOR FREE!
For most Bibles you need to pay, and when I got all my Bibles I had to pay for them – yes, even though I was in Romania, I still had to pay for my Romanian and for most of my English Bibles. And I had to pay for my first Recovery Version of the New Testament – in those days it was available only for sale. But recently the Lord has put on the heart of many believers in Christ to make this “gold bar”, this solid New Testament Recovery Version with rich footnotes, available for FREE for all those who speak English!
So if you’re in England, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA, or other English-speaking country, you can get a free New Testament Recovery Version. You can just order it online! On the one hand all the good things in life are free, on the other hand all the precious things in life cost a lot. Getting a Recovery Version Bible will not “bring you closer to God” if you don’t pay the price to read through it and prayerfully consider both the text and the footnotes.
It is only God who gives the growth, but we can cooperate with Him by opening to Him, turning our heart to Him, and reading His Word in a prayerful way. I personally warmly recommend the Recovery Version of the Bible – which you can also read online via online.recoveryversion.org!
PS. The above article is just an appreciation from my heart to the Lord for this particular version of the Bible. It is NOT to promote anything or anyone, but to simply state what I enjoy reading and studying. If you would like to express YOUR appreciation for this particular version of the Bible, please leave a comment, or if you have any questions, also write in the comments below. May ALL things be done unto the building up!
I’ve been pondering over this subject these days, especially as I see things happening in parts of the world and also in my life. Sometimes you live your life in a certain way, and then just like that, something happens, and you realize you’ve been living in a lie, a “bubble”, a realm that you created for yourself and which is comfortable, pleasant, and so nice…
You can call “the American dream” a bubble (which “popped” a while ago: there’s NO such thing as an American dream) and you can call the movies “a bubble”… But I’ve been thinking about it, and here’s my conclusion: all men live in a self-made and self-built bubble until they meet Christ and live in their mingled spirit. Let me explain.
What is a Bubble?
I would define “a bubble” (in the sense used in this article) as a realm, a situation, an environment, a feeling, something that one builds around himself so that he would feel good, comfortable, and cozy. I’m not talking about “all pink and rosy” in your situation, but something and some things that some people do and buy and make so that they would feel good – and at the end they realize it’s empty and meaningless.
You can call Y2K a bubble – the hype of the dot com and websites and stuff; you can say that Steve Jobs lived in a self-made bubble called “reality distortion field“, you can call the stock market a bubble; and you can call the real estate market a bubble. But here are some more practical examples, more specifically:
The Techno-Bubble – More and more people today live in a techno-bubble, surrounding themselves with gadgets like smartphones, iPhones, iPod’s, iPads, tablets, computers, screens, computer games, etc. Basically, people prefer to spend more time in front of a screen playing or relaxing / taking in something, instead of spending time with others or with God. They all know “it’s all virtual” and when something breaks they realize, Wow, it can all collapse JUST LIKE THAT! A new smartphone is coming out. A new pair of more expensive headphones and a new version of a PC game / X-box game is coming out, and you have to have it. Virtual things like games, movies, screens, become “more real” than people, a job, sports, travelling, etc. Truth be told, all this is just “a bubble”, a dream, a fad. When that iPhone breaks, when you finish the game, when the computer is too slow, etc – you realize, wow, it’s all so vain!
The Sports Bubble – some people love watching and following sports. In Europe, South America, and more and more in the USA also, people follow and are excited about football (soccer). They pay a big price to go to watch the game of their favorite team, and most times it loses. They pay big money for a seat, they buy the T-shirts, the scarf, the hat, the magazine, etc. They check the news every 10 minutes to see if there’s anything new. They think it’s real, that the team goes on because they cheer – but it’s all “a bubble”. There’s millions of sterling pounds in the British football, and millions of people who earn barely enough to live from one day to another spend their last quid on a ticket to the game or something to “support their team”. They become enemies with some and “fans with others” because of a team.
But then they travel somewhere, or they get married, or something happens – and they “wake up”: it’s a dream, it’s something unreal, a fad, NOTHING!
The Cars Bubble – Maybe you don’t love technology or sports, but you love cars. You watch all the car races, you check out all the new cars coming out, you’re a big fan of Sports Gear, you love your car and desire to buy another one that’s better, and you love tuning your car to make it look, sound, and work cool. There’s better and cooler cars coming out all the time, and the hype is being upheld by events and announcements of new stuff. Or maybe you like old cars, with almost nothing electric in them – their shape, the engine power, the style, the leather, etc… Or maybe you prefer motorcycles – not just as means of transportation, but as design, fashion, style, speed, brand, looks….
There’s so much I don’t know about cars, but I met some “car enthusiasts” who knew since they were 12 that as soon as they will be 18 or 19 they will “buy a beamer”. But then a car crash can happen, or money is not enough and you have to sell the car, or you are just to busy with other things, and “the car dream” / the car “bubble” is gone…
The Fashion Bubble – There’s something about fashion that attracts most young ones. When you walk on the streets in Central London you see all kinds of designs and fashion clothes on people. Almost everyone wants to make a statement by what they wear. There’s even an ad, “Fashion is us!” and many live by this code. They just can’t wear certain colors, and this doesn’t match with that, and they can’t get out of the house at particular times because they don’t have the right clothes. The home of many people don’t matter (how disorganized they are) but when they get out the door, they look like super-stars and actors in movies or on the catwalk. The hair style, the clothes, the shoes, the purses, the ear rings, the jewelry, the “colors they put on their face”, the eyebrows, the nails, the lips, the tattoos the piercings, and every part of the being is carefully taken care of, designed, fashioned, and “hacked”.
But then they have to go to work or to school, and they have to behave normally, and all that fashion is just a dream you pay too high a price to enjoy too little of a time. When you touch the Lord, there’s something inside that just doesn’t LIKE or WANT fancy stuff or stylish clothes…
Music Bubble – “talking to fellow commuters is overrated; listening to music is the new thing” is a statement all make on public transport or any travelling means. People rarely NOT listen to something or watch something. They need to be “plugged in”, they need to be in a playlist carefully selected and played again and again, so that the very-well-known-tunes would sound in their being…. Children and young people, the young ones who don’t even have a job yet or know how to earn a living, they all are up-to-date with the latest in music and they listened to everything. Their playlist and digital collection exceeds even the wildest thoughts of the adults, and the way they get the tracks doesn’t even matter. Music is a big bubble – whenever there’s a spare time or a boring moment, the earphones go in and music plays. There’s not even a second thought about it. It’s a drug people love to take both publicly and individually.
And it is unreal – no matter how much you think you “identify yourself with the lyrics”, you’re a human being with a human spirit created not to be defiled by most music out there but filled with the pure and true God. Music makes you feel you’re invincible, in the heavens, etc – ONLY when you listen to it (and most times not even then). It’s all fake; it’s a bubble you create around the real problems in your life to forget about them and procrastinate.
Movies, Multimedia, Internet, Facebook, etc… – there’s so many other things that we tailor to our situation, things we try to escape into so that we forget about what we have to do or “just relax”. The hours people spend on Facebook, Twitter, watching movies, or in multimedia cause them to “feel good” – and yet it’s all “a bubble”, a drug people take to escape the real world. It’s almost as if people don’t use “physical hallucinogenic substances” but they run after psychological and self-made drugs offered by the world today…
Do You Live in a Bubble?
There are so many other types of bubbles, including research (yes, research can become the “dope” creating and feeding your bubble), gaining knowledge, religion, philosophy working hard, money, sex, alcohol, drugs, parties, gangs, etc. If people would just step back and think about it, I mean, really think about their human life, many of them would wake up.
Even as believers many times we “create our own bubbles”, living a certain life with a certain attitude at work or school, while performing differently at home, in the church life, or towards particular groups of people. We may delight in spending time travelling or watching stuff, being in the “Facebook bubble” or “music bubble” ourselves. Or maybe we find a “denomination bubble”, having a strong label and refusing to connect or fellowship with any other believers.
Maybe we never blend – we never visit other believers, never fellowship with others, and we’re content “with our own group, which fully matches our taste”. Maybe we live in a bubble called “never-preaching the gospel” but rather “meeting only” or “only enjoying Christ by myself”.
Oh, how much we need the Lord to SHINE on us, break through any bubble, and reach us with His X-ray light that penetrates everything! In His light we see light.
Some Cases of “Living in a Bubble” in the Bible
- In the times of Noah, though Noah was preaching the gospel and he was an anti-testimony to that age by continually working on building an ark, most of the people of his age lived in a bubble. They ate, drank, married and gave in marriage, and the flood just came upon them all of a sudden. They saw Noah, but they never repented or considered their situation….
- Job lived in a self-righteous bubble: he did “everything according to the book”, and he really thought that God loves him and blesses him only because he is “so righteous”. That is, until God allowed Satan to touch his possessions, his family, and even his own body. What “popped the bubble” was God’s appearing – Job had to repent in dust and ashes at God’s appearing…
- The people of Israel lived “in a bubble” by neglecting God and His laws. This is why God “kept poking their bubble” by sending the prophets to speak to them, warn them, turn them, and remind them. But they became more hardened in heart as time went by, and their hardness of heart went further and further until they cried out, “Let His blood fall upon us and upon our children!” (speaking of the Only Innocent Man that lived on the earth, which they crucified). They still live in a bubble, thinking it’s because of their cleverness and patriotism that Israel was reformed, and they refuse to believe in the Lord Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, until the Lord Jesus will return on the clouds in the heavens and then all will see Him and will repent!
- The entire world was living in a bubble, including Nebuchadnezzar and all his magicians / wise men; only Daniel and his friends were serving the living God and they lived in reality by touching God and praying to Him. They knew God’s word, joined themselves to His desire in His Word, and they stood against the whole “gold head” of the “great human image” in Daniel 2. Wow!
- Saul of Tarsus lived in a zealous bubble, thinking he does a great service to God by persecuting the Christians. That is, until God met Him on the way to Damascus, and Christ as the Head of the Body unveiled Saul to see that He and His believers are one. Since then, Paul lived in reality more and more….
How can we Live in Reality?
As soon as the Lord shines on a self-made bubble and we return to Him, we start creating yet another bubble. He may turn us from one side to the other, changing everything in our life, and we will seek Him in the beginning – but then we create another bubble, something that makes our soul feel happy.
The Bubble is our soul-life, something that matches the desires and pleasures of our fallen soul. And there are so many of them! So, how can we live in reality? There’s a song that says, “May Thy living light, Lord, / Scatter all my night, Lord! / And everything make bright, Lord, / For this I pray to Thee!”
We think we see but we are blind. We think we understand but we have no idea what’s happening. We think we know but we don’t. We need God’s light to shine on us again and again and again, until we will walk in the light. It’s in the light that you see things clearly.
And this light is in our spirit, because we are joined to the Lord as one spirit. As soon as we enter into the sanctuary of God in our spirit, as soon as we touch the living Person of Christ in our mingled spirit, we KNOW, we SEE, and we UNDERSTAND. It’s because Christ is the reality, and God is True. He is real.
Everything else and everyone else is fake, but God IS! In our spirit, in the touch with God, in the organic union with Him, we live in reality and not in a bubble. And This One enables us to live the human life and the Christian life according to Him – as we turn to and live in our spirit!
What we can see outwardly, what we can hear with our ears, what we can taste with our mouth, what we can touch with our hands, and what we can feel is NOT real; it is here temporarily, but it is as unreal as we as human beings are. The real things, the reality, the genuineness of human beings and of the universe is in God, and God as Spirit is joined to the believers’ spirit.
When we touch our spirit, we touch the meaning of the universe, the reality of our human existence, and the mystery of our human life. When we touch our spirit we begin to really live! In the Spirit with our spirit (1 Cor. 6:17) we have the life that is really life – the real life, the divine life, the life that passes through death and into resurrection and lives and is real… and this divine life is in us, wanting to live and be expressed through us…
This article is to be continued – I am still learning to allow the Lord to shine on me daily… Please do share your thoughts / conclusions on this matter, if you managed to get this far in this extremely long article…
As you have guessed, I am NOT a student anymore – that is, I don’t attend an university these days. This doesn’t mean I’m not a student-at-heart, studying especially the Bible, lots of spiritual books, the footnotes in the Recovery Version, and also many things related to my job.
But at the same time, I am happy to meet with some of the Christian Students in London, especially around the areas of Greenwich, Central London, Kingston, East London, North London, and Uxbridge. Since I’m not a student anymore, you may ask me,
Why are You Going to a Students Conference?
That’s a fair question. I am close to a decade older to most of the students who will be there, and I finished school a while ago… so why am I still going to a Christian Students conference?
Well, first of all, age doesn’t matter when it comes to being a Christian – you can be older than others physically and yet much younger in spirit, fresh with the Lord, and daily being renewed. Believe me, there’s a brother in our students group meeting who is over 80 years old, but he is definitely much younger in spirit and more fresh than us all, loving the Lord so much!
Second of all, I think I see something concerning what God is doing today especially in Europe, something related to the young generation. There’s something particular in His heart for the generation of students today, the young ones who are either lured into all kinds of destructive things by the enemy through the world, or they are useful vessels in God’s hands as human beings filled with God to express Him.
God Wants to Gain Many Christian Students!
I now live in England, UK, the country that for centuries has sent thousands of missionaries and believers everywhere in the world to bring the gospel to the remotest parts of the earth. What was so special about these ones was that they loved the Lord, they didn’t care for themselves but for God’s interest, and they gave themselves to God from their youth!
In this country today God desires to gain many thousands like them, many who care for God’s interest and who love Him to the uttermost. When we see that God’s heart is beating for the students today, that they may fall in love with Him and be crazy lovers of Jesus on all the campuses in England… what can you do?
I can’t resist Him but I just want to cooperate with Him to gain such ones. God desires to gain many real Christian students in all the campuses in England and everywhere in Europe. I believe that these ones have the chance to rise up today and be absolute for Him to bring Him back.
Pray for This Coming Weekend!
No, sir! Times are changing. Students are picking up the burden to pray for this time. They rise up to learn to coordinate. Christian students testify in the meetings concerning their experience of Christ. They take the lead to enjoy the Lord, call on His name, pray in groups, have Bible studies together, sing during the break, fellowship with one another, and so many organic life-practices in the Lord.
Pray for this. Pray for many students, especially for many young ones, to learn to function in their measure, to learn to speak Christ in the meeting and with their friends, and to learn to convert the friendship into companionship.
Pray for the speaking brothers, for the students who serve with all the practical things and with singing and sharing, and for all the things related to this time.
Wales, Here We Come!
By train, by plane, by van, and by bus, a little over 200 Christian students and believers will get together this coming weekend in Wales to enjoy Christ especially in His third stage, the stage of intensification. Due to the degradation of the church today Christ has been intensified to become the sevenfold intensified life-giving Spirit – so that He may produce the overcomers in the churches!
Wow, what a privilege to go to Wales, somewhere close to Newtown Powys, among the hills and the sheep and the cold winds, and hear something regarding God’s desire to gain overcomers! God is intensifying His organic salvation today to overcome the age, the degradation, the devil, and everything, so that the many young God-men students would be produced as the many overcomers in all the campuses in England, France, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Greece, and all other countries in Europe!
What a privilege we have to PRAY for this time, to join ourselves to God in His desire and say,
DO IT, Lord! Obtain the overcomers from among the young generation today! Gain many God-men on all the campuses in Europe! Gain those absolute for You! Intensify Your organic salvation in all the Christian Students that they may be produced as the overcomers today! Make these ones those who bring You back!
Yesterday it was Sunday, that is, the Lord’s Day – it’s NOT the day of the Sun, but the Lord’s day! Every Lord’s day – the first day of the week – we gather together, according to the pattern of the early believers, to remember the Lord at the Lord’s Table Meeting, the Lord’s supper.
I don’t know what is your experience of this, but I can testify with all my heart that, no matter where I am in the world, I am so happy to meet with the saints in one accord and remember the Lord in oneness in the Body of Christ!
Whether in London (UK), Montreal (Canada), New York (USA), Taipei (Taiwan), Bucharest (Romania), Warsaw (Poland), Charlotte (NC, USA), Malaga (Spain), Porto (Portugal), Athens (Greece), Bratislava (Slovakia), Coventry (UK), or any other locality, we can meet on the ground of oneness and enjoy the Lord at the Lord’s table meeting with all the saints!
God Chose a Specific Place For His People to Worship Him
In the Old Testament God chose a specific city and a specific place where His people would worship Him – Jerusalem. In the New Testament also God chose a specific place where He would be worshiped – in the spirit (John 4:24), in oneness with the Body of Christ. Many Christians today gather “under many trees”, “in the place of their choice”, and in a certain other name than the Lord’s…
I am glad to be brought back, little by little, to the original intention of God – one city, one church (in oneness with all the Body of Christ). God doesn’t allow people the ground to choose the place where they meet – it’s in the local church, in the spirit!
Otherwise, just as we see in Nehemiah and Ezra, most of the Jews remained in Babylon and in the other countries, they never returned to Jerusalem – yet they are still God’s people, still meet in synagogues, still read the Torah… Today there are many more genuine Jews outside the country of Israel, but some paid the price to go and move and live in the land of Immanuel… The Jews in Israel may be much poorer than the Jews in New York, nevertheless if God wants to do something among His earthly people, the ones in Israel are on the proper ground.
As long as we are in the place God desires us to be in today to worship Him, we will have His presence, His blessing, and His up-to-date speaking.
Size Doesn’t Matter – the Oneness Does!
The size of the Lord’s Table meeting doesn’t matter – as long as we gather together on the genuine ground of the oneness in the Body of Christ. I have been in meetings of a few hundred saints, and I have been in gatherings of 20 or so believers, and in both settings there was the sweet oneness, the genuine one accord, and the Lord’s presence was with us!
What matters is to be in oneness with all the believers as the members of Christ’s Body in the locality we meet, and in oneness with all the Body of Christ by being in a regular fellowship with other local churches!
This past Lord’s Day, though we were only a few of us, we were enjoying the Lord as our Host presiding at the Table, giving us to eat and to drink (see: How Glorious is Your Table, Lord! Hymns #1112). How wonderful to be one with all the saints, in the Body of Christ, and enjoy Christ as the bread of life and as the cup of salvation!
How delightful to drink of Him as the One who was pierced for us and to eat of His Body broken for us! How satisfying to worship the Father by praising Him and offering Christ to Him through our praises and prayers! Oh, the feeling of the Father being happy in us!
Eating and Drinking Until the Lord Returns!
Our Christian life on earth is a life of eating the Lord and drinking Him until He returns – and then, He will drink and eat with us anew in His kingdom (Matt. 26:29)! To eat the Lord is to overcome, and as overcomers we will be rewarded with more eating of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7; 22:14). We are destined to just eat of the Lord as the tree of life and drink of Him as the river of water of life for eternity (see the New Jerusalem, Rev. 22:1-4).
This is what the church life is today – eating, drinking, and breathing Jesus, on the genuine ground of oneness – in the mingled spirit and in the Body of Christ! And when we meet with other believers, we continue to eat the Lord and drink Him in spirit, mutually edifying one another through speaking, singing, reading, and much fellowship!
This is what we do when we get together every first day of the week – we eat the Lord, we drink Him, and we testify to the whole universe that by eating and drinking Him in oneness we express Him in the universe as His unique Body! We stand as one in each locality for all to see (see hymn, There is one Body in this universe, Hymns #1107)!
I love the church life. I love the local churches, the procedure for God to obtain His overcomers and build up His Body on earth today! I love the Lord’s table meeting, where we enjoy the Lord, remember Him in love, eat and drink of Him, praise Him, worship Him, and express our love to the Father for His Wonderful Son!
- Scriptural Meaning of the Lord’s Table Meeting.
- The Local Church meetings - the Table Meeting.
- Enjoying the Lord Jesus and partaking of Him at the Lord’s Table Meeting on the Lord’s Day!
- The genuine ground of the oneness.
Don’t run away, this is not a scam, it’s a real story with a happy ending It may not be the full story, but nonetheless you will enjoy it (I hope). It starts with me being a young man who loves the Lord, originally from Romania, living in London, UK.
I was (and still am) a full-time job-keeping serving one before the Lord and in my spirit (in the Body of Christ). I saw something concerning the Lord’s move being toward Western Europe, especially in England, so after graduating FTTL (Full Time Training in London) I remained in London with the saints here, working, meeting, serving, eating – drinking – and – breathing Jesus.
The church life was wonderful. I loved what I worked on at Sparks. Serving with the young people was challenging, fun, time-consuming, amazing, rewarding, and altogether a great experience with the Lord and in the Body.
Facebook and Pictures
You must read my article on, Is Your Being on Facebook a Waste of Time? The story in the current blog post is a bit before I came to these conclusions… I was on Facebook a LOT, posting at least one picture album with the church life per month and sharing from my top enjoyment in the Word and in the ministry…
Oh, did I mention I was single? Yes, I lived in the brothers’ house for a while, then moved on my own… but I was still single. Still enjoying the church life. Still loving the Lord. Still working really hard and loving it.
But something was missing. Or more precisely, someone was missing. I felt the need. The saints felt it too, and so did many people around me…. I prayed for a spouse. The saints prayed for a spouse. The young people prayed for a wife for me. The whole Body was just praying for me… wow…
The Picture that Surprised Everyone!
And then, just like that, on a lovely spring day in March 2012 a little less than a year ago, I posted a picture on Facebook that surprised all my friends – me with a lovely Chinese girl who just said, YES (see me with Rebecca on the left)! I have never seen so many likes on that picture in such a short time! In less than 1 week there were more than 600 likes. Oh, Lord…
But, woooow, back up a little! What happened in the meantime? Well… You can read part of our story via Stefan and Rebecca Wedding website and you can visit us in London to find out more. What I can tell you is that the Lord is sovereign, and He used even Facebook to bring Rebecca and I together.
Facebook was the start, but we continued to pray, read the Bible, sing, pray-read, read the life-study, and lots of prayer and conversations via Skype, Viber, and other electronic means. Until it became clear to both of us that God Put Us Together For One Another. And that I love her and she loves me and He prepared her for me, as He was preparing me for her.
Many things on her list of “this is what I want my husband to be like” were worked out / fulfilled in me, and secret details I asked the Lord about my future wife were absolutely fulfilled in her. The same heart for the Lord and for the saints, for the students, children, and young people. The same heart for the Lord’s move and His recovery. The same vision. And many other elements (more outward) and details we prayed for – He prepared us for one another.
It became clear to both us and to the saints around us, to our parents and the close friends, and to everyone else. And then… the announcement was made, the picture was posted on Facebook, and everyone was positively (hopefully) surprised! Now that’s a pleasant surprise to give your friends – being secretly and openly one with the Lord even in your search for your spouse!
Thank You Lord Jesus for Everything
Of course there’s much more to our story, and there’s even more being written daily as we are now married and live together in London where I am again a job-keeping full-time serving one, learning to minister to the Lord and to His house together with my wife. All I can say is,
Thank You dear Lord for everything. You know best. You know the time, the month, the season, the weather, the ring, the parents, the saints, the elders, the situation, and all the arrangement.
All I can say, looking back, is that the Lord just loves us – and He wants what’s best for us. He provides what He considers as best for us. And He continues to provide what He considers to be the best environment and situations for us to enjoy Him, gain Him, and be constituted with Him.
On our side, we just need to be open. Are we open to be the Nazarites of today, those fully separated unto Him and consecrated to Him? Amen, Lord, in all kinds of circumstances, things, environments, and situations, keep us open to You for what You intend to do in us today!
What is in Your Heart Concerning Us, Lord?
This is the question of questions. This is our best cooperation:
Lord, whatever is in Your heart concerning us, do it. We just want to say Amen. Open Your heart to us. Really open us to what You want us to do. We just wanna be one with You.
It’s so good to have a companion together with which to call on the name of the Lord, pray together, labor together, pursue the Lord together, and strive to go on together.
May He have a way. We are really nothing – we may rather hinder Him when we “try to help God with our good intentions”. But as long as we are open, God will have a way. We don’t want “what we think we need” but what He knows we need. We just want His will to be done – as in the heavens, so also on earth, and so also in our life. Lord, one with You!
Every morning we rise up a bit earlier to have a time with the Lord – just us and Him. You can call it, morning revival, or, morning watch. But the principle of living a normal Christian life is to rise up every morning a bit earlier and make sure you and the Lord have a personal, intimate, and sweet time together.
It may not work out every morning, but we strive toward this, and we daily learn to overcome the love for our sleep and for our bed. It is not a “super-amazing time with heavenly visions” every day, but we daily want to have a normal, regular, and intimate time with the Lord.
Touching the Lord Before the Sun is Up
The Lord has arranged for now that I have to wake up at 6AM or so, and especially these days I can catch the sunrise while traveling to go to work. I have heard of stories from people who say that it is amazing to see the sun “coming out of the sea” somewhere in Ireland, or get up on the mountain to watch the sunrise in Scotland…
I may not have those amazing experiences of watching the sunrise, but as sure as the earth is here and I am alive, the sun is faithful to rise up. Christ is the real sun, bringing the light of life in our life, and we need to rise up a bit earlier to enjoy Him before the sun is up!
Oh, to enjoy the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings! To gain Him daily as the early morning Star! There’s something fresh, precious, sweet, and so good when you touch the Lord before the sun is up! He is more precious and more fresh in the morning than at any time during the day!
The Morning Watch may NOT Be Spectacular All the Time!
What I noticed in England concerning the sunrise is that it is NOT spectacular. It is normal. Day after day, the sun just rises and we have sunshine. Many times there are a lot of clouds (it’s England, remember?), while sometimes the sun rises and “the whole horizon burns”. Take a look at these pictures below
Amazing Morning Sunrise – close to Archway, North London
The sun is “burning the sky” as it comes up daily…
I took these pictures over 6 months, seeking every day to see how the sun rises… Many times we think our morning watch with the Lord should be like this: on fire, having visions and revelations, being amazing! We expect that we touch the Lord and we feel so comforted, so wonderful, so shepherded, and the whole day we stay “in that feeling”….
We have so many natural concepts and expectations concerning our time with the Lord in the morning. But how many times does this really happen in our experience? I think our experience looks mostly like this:
This is the picture I took today as I was waiting for the train in West Drayton. The sunrise today was NOT amazing, the sky was NOT on fire, and I could NOT even see the sun! But I was sure that the sun is there.
In our morning watch with the Lord, as we exercise our spirit to touch Him and be revived, as we confess our sins and dig away any dirt that His light exposes, we enjoy His presence and the shining of His face. Sometimes is really amazing. Most times it is normal, the clouds still need to be dealt with, but “the train is there” (see the picture) – the Lord is here with us, His presence is real to us, and He feeds us with Himself.
All we need to do is pay the price of denying the self to SET TIME aside, pray, fellowship with the Lord, communicate with Him, read His Word, and even sing. Just ask Him to shine on you. As sure as the earth and heavens are, Christ will shine on you, and He will bring in life. We receive our spiritual food and daily nourishment from His hand.
We just open to Him, spend time with Him, and allow Him to shine on us, speak to us, supply us, expose us, burn anything that’s not of Him in us, and even replace us with Himself. It’s a daily process.
Just as we grow normally humanly in the divine life, with nothing much spectacular happening from day to day, so we grow in life by touching the Lord and enjoying Him from day to day.
So, How Was Your Morning Time with the Lord Today?
And now I turn the question to you. If you made it through the reading of this blog post until now, please be honest and write a comment with your experience.
How was your morning watch with the Lord today? Is there something that touched you from the Word this morning? How did the Lord shine on you this morning?
Believe it or not, even though all the polls and reports and news say that England is becoming more atheistic or Muslim (rather than becoming more Christian), there are thousands of hungry-for-truth-seeking-ones in this country, and especially in London.
During the Olympic Games in London there was a massive Bible Distribution and there have been more than 70.000 New Testaments given out, with a response of approx. 60% people desiring to be further contacted for Bible studies. Wow, how about that!
What a privilege to live in this day, age, and country at this particular moment in time. All we have to do is be open to the Lord, and He will not only daily supply us but bring men like a flock, those who are hungry for the deeper truths in God’s word!
Small Group Bible Studies
These days we have been having a lot of fellowship, prayer, and eventually some visitation of the ones who request a Bible study in their home. I realize that in myself I am not qualified, but the Lord has “loaded us with His spiritual heavenly cargo” – God’s economy – and He has brought people to us; what can we do but go and visit!?!
I have been visiting together with my dear wife several homes to read the Bible together. I have to say, I love the small group Bible studies! No formality. No pastor. No leader. No schedule. Only the Bible, the footnotes, and the seeking of the Lord. And it is so sweet!
The Lord leads, we follow. We read, He speaks to us. We ask a question, and through the other members, He answers it or at least points us in the right direction. At the end of it all, you feel you have gained not only “more knowledge of God” but you have gained more God!
Example: Last Night Bible Study
For example, last night we met with some believers to get into a portion of the truth related to following the sense of life within – not merely behaving according to right or wrong, but according to the sense of life, the feeling of the divine life, in our spirit (set 3 in Basic Elements of Christian Life, which can be ordered online for free here).
The seemingly-impossible things the Bible tells us to do in Matthew 5-7 can be lived out spontaneously only when we live by the divine life. We all were impressed with the fact that we don’t need to do or say things according to the right or wrong (which belong to the tree of knowledge) but according to the life within.
Sometimes we may do something good (like giving some money to a beggar on the street because “we think it’s good to do this”) but the divine life within us is not happy, and so we need to repent for doing this good thing! Wow!
Questions and Answers in an Open Environment
The best thing about meeting in a home is not only the small number and each one functioning, but also the good questions and all-doing-their-best-to-answer the questions. There’s such a good fellowship when the Lord’s seekers come together, enjoy Him in His word, and then fellowship from their experience of Christ!
What about when someone just likes to make you suffer by doing and saying things that he knows will make you feel bad? What if this person continues to do this? What should a Christian do?
Watchman Nee was presenting the example of two brothers who had a plot of land which they watered daily, but the neighbor down the road was stealing the water at night. They continued to water their plot, but eventually after 7-8 days they felt not happy within. After some fellowship with a more experienced brother, they went and FIRST watered the plot of the down-the-road neighbor, and then they watered their own plot. How about that!
In ourselves we can “endure as a Christian the persecution of others”, but in Christ, in the divine life, we can even turn the other cheek! Eventually the neighbor came and said, I want to know your God – He is real! This story sparked such a good fellowship, and our prayer was, Lord, make us those who live by the divine life in our spirit. Grow in us!
In the Homes – God’s Way
We are all busy. We all have a lot of things to do. We all want “our free time”, our space, our own personal relaxing time… But God has a need. And the way He takes today is away from the big crowds, away from the big buildings, and into the homes. Many thousands of homes. Small, sweet, enjoyable, around the table, in the Word, with the believers, with all ages, and under His leading.
Witness Lee once said that this kind of home group meetings should constitute 80% of our church life. We are on our way now, learning to have many such small group meetings, home meetings, with the immediate members of the Body and the Lord’s seeking ones. And He is building up His church through each member functioning in their measure.
In such a small setting every one can function, and no one can “not function” because his portion is vital! I love God’s way, the way of the homes – from house to house, day by day!
Pictures: the first, a meeting in our own home and the second, via Rhema – free Christian Literature.