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How To Study The Bible By Watchman Nee

Common Terms And Phrases

BOOK CLUB :HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE part 1, Preparation of the person. by Watchman Nee.

The Backdrop To Watchman Nees Testimony

Starting in the early 1800s, God put a calling into the hearts of many Western Christians to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to China. Through much sacrifice, these missionaries gave themselves to preach the gospel in a place where it hadnt gone before. As a result, slowly but surely, people who had previously never heard the name of Jesus were brought to Christ the Savior.

Then in 1900 during the violence and upheaval of the Boxer Rebellion, Chinese believers were persecuted and martyred. Many missionaries were also killed. In the aftermath of such sacrifice and loss, Christians in the West persevered in their burden for China and continued to offer up fervent prayers for its people.

In the 1920s, the Lord answered these prayers and began to call young people to Himself in China. The gospel reached the educated circles, and many college students were brought to Christ. One hundred years of missionary work and sacrifice, followed by years of desperate prayer, had paved the way for the Lord to raise up a whole generation of young Chinese Christians. It was from among that generation that the Lord called Watchman Nee.

Witness Lees early life

Witness Lee was born into a Christian family in 1905 in northern China. His mother made a great financial sacrifice for him to attend a Southern Baptist Chinese school and later the Presbyterian English Mission College. However, although he received an excellent education, he was not saved at the time.


A The First Period For More Serious Subjects

We should take note of one thing: After studying for twenty minutes, we may be tempted to extend our reading to thirty minutes. We must overcome this temptation. If we have made the decision to read only twenty minutes, we should adhere to twenty minutes. If we can resist extending our time, we will also overcome the temptation of reducing our time from twenty to ten minutes. Once we have made a decision before the Lord, we have to discipline ourselves to adhere to it. We would rather be stuck with something for ten years than be free from it in ten days. We must never be loose or careless. We have to learn to be disciplined.

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D The Fourth Period Paraphrasing

The fourth period is ten minutes for paraphrasing the Bible. When we have a fresh understanding of a portion of the Word, we should write out the whole portion in simple and intelligible language for the easy comprehension of others. A person who is trained in this exercise will find meaning and significance in every word of the Bible. This requires fine work. It may take a few days to paraphrase one verse. We have to touch the thought of the Holy Spirit with our spirit, and we have to open up ourselves to receive the proper impressions. Our thoughts have to match the thoughts of the writers of the Bible. We have to use basically the same expressions, only with a little more explanation of our own to clarify their meaning.

Paraphrasing should be done paragraph by paragraph. To paraphrase a verse at a time is too little, and to paraphrase a chapter at a time is too much. We should group a few verses together that naturally form a section, read through the whole section, and then paraphrase it verse by verse.

The above division of time is a suggestion based on others’ experience. In actual practice, everyone can make appropriate arrangements based on his specific needs before God.

Other Crucial Scriptural Teachings

How to Study the Bible: Practical Advice for Receiving Light from God

In addition to the major teachings, Watchman Nee received further clear revelation from the Lord concerning fifty-three other scriptural teachings crucial to the full understanding and practice of the Christian faith.

  • Handing Over All Things
  • The Assurance of Salvation

    One of the first basic items which the Lord revealed to Watchman Nee was the believers’ assurance of salvation. Throughout all of China in those days, the scriptural teaching of the assurance of salvation was seldom taught by any Christian group. Watchman Nee, however, became exceedingly clear concerning this matter and preached the gospel to Christians to help them realize that they were saved. He was able to show from the written Word that the believer can be absolutely assured of his salvation. He would help the doubtful to take a Bible verse like John 3:16 and digest it until it became a definite word to them that they could never perish. He also pointed out to them that the Spirit of God dwells in them and witnesses with their spirit that they are God’s children . A further evidence of the assurance of salvation was given by Watchman Nee from 1 John 3:14: “We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers.”

    The Distinction between Grace and Law

    The Difference between Salvation and Victory

    The Difference between Salvation and Reward

    The Difference between the Kingdom of the Heavens and Eternal Life

    The Kingdom Truths


    The Deviation of Christianity


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    What People Are Saying

    Watchman Nee is a deep and Holy Spirit inspired writer, and How to Study the Bible is a thorough book. In this book Nee covers the preparation of the person and their attitude before they begin their …Read full review

    Watchman Nee has been given special insights from the Holy Spirit to help others seek the same. He stresses a right relationship with Christ a must to understanding the word of God. I agree!Read full review

    Preface To The Chinese Edition

    The Bible is the inspired word of God, and every child of God should spend time to study it.The Bible shows us what God has done for us in the past and what He has said. It also shows us the ways that God has guided men in the past. In order to acquaint ourselves with the riches and vastness of Gods provisions, we have to study the Bible.Gods present speaking is based on His past speaking. When God speaks to others through us, He does so through His established word. We must let the word of God dwell richly in our hearts before we can hear His speaking today and before He can make us ministers of His word.The purpose in publishing these messages is to provide the readers with the prerequisites to the study of the Bible and to furnish them with some important tools in the study of the Word. It is our hope to render some help to those who have a desire to know the Scripture. May God bless this book and its readers.

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    A The Impression From The Facts

    When reading the Bible, the Holy Spirit next requires that we capture an impression from the facts. The Bible is not all teachings. A great part of it is facts, history, and stories. The Holy Spirit desires that the facts, history, and stories produce a certain impression within us. Once we have an impression of these facts from the Holy Spirit, it will be easy for Him to convey Gods word to us. If these facts do not produce an impression in us, Gods word will not take hold in us and will not produce the proper effect in us.

    A coarse person will never see the fine points in the Bible. A man must be tender, and his feelings must be very sensitive before Gods word can stamp a clear image within him. He will not only catch a glimpse of the general contour, but he will have an accurate impression of the fine points and lines. He will be clear about every delicate and intricate point behind the facts.

    The Way To Read The Bible

    Love NOT the world — Chapter 3 — A study by Watchman Nee

    Throughout the generations Christians have had many ways of reading the Bible. Some of the ways require much time and effort but produce little result, while other ways likewise require much time and effort but yield no result at all. However, one way that is worth trying is to read the Bible once a year. Daily read one chapter of the New Testament and three chapters of the Old Testament this is to read four chapters a day. In this way the Bible can be read through once in a year. It is best to read the New Testament in the morning and the Old Testament during the day. This way is even more necessary for the new believers. After you rise up every morning, before doing anything else, you should pray and read the Bible. This does not require a great amount of time. Normally people think that they do not have enough hours in a day, but if we allot time to read the Word and pray, we will gain the benefit of redeeming our time. More importantly, this will cause us to be nourished and supplied every day we will not only increase in knowledge but also grow in life.

    Someone may ask, âHow can I read the Bible? My memory is poor, so I cannot remember anything I read.â Whether we can remember what we read is another matter. The primary purpose of our reading the Bible is that we may be nourished and enlightened so that we may have strength for our living, light for our way, and growth for our spiritual life. May we begin immediately to practice this.

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    A The Heart Being Open

    The Bible is the word of God. It is full of Gods light. Yet this light will only enlighten those who are open to Him. Second Corinthians 3:18 says, But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord. The basic qualification for being enlightened by the glory of the Lord is to behold Him with unveiled face. If a man comes to the Lord with a veiled face, the glory will not enlighten him. Gods light will only enlighten those who are open to Him. If a man is not open to God, he will not receive Gods light. The trouble with some people is that they are closed to the Lord. Their spirit, heart, will, and mind are all closed to God. As a result, the light of the Scriptures will not reach them. Even though the sun is full of light and shines on the whole world, its light will not reach a person who sits inside a room with closed door and windows. The problem is not with the light but with the person. Light will only shine on those who are open to it. This is true of physical light, and this is also true of spiritual light. Whenever we lock ourselves in, light cannot shine through. Some people are closed to the Lord they can never see Gods light. We must not pay attention just to reading and studying rather, we should ask if we are open before the Lord. If we do not have an unveiled face, the glory of the Lord will not shine on us. If our heart is not open to God, God cannot give us any light.

    Vii Gods Relationship With Man

    Some have classified Gods relationship with man in the Bible according to the following considerations: 1) God, 2) men in general, that is, humanity in general, 3) the individual, 4) the God-man, 5) God and man, 6) God in man, and 7) God over men. This is a good division. First, we have God this is clear enough. Second, we have all men, that is, humanity. This includes Adams fall and sin and everything that is in Adam. Third, we have the individual, which includes individual sin and individual judgment. Fourth, we have the God-man, which we see in the Gospels the Lord Jesus is the God-man. Fifth, we have God and man, which involves the truth of the gospel preached in the Epistles. Sixth, we have God in man, which points to all of Gods operations within man, involving the deeper truths in the Epistles. Seventh, we have God over men, which refers the kingdom age, when God will be King over all men. This includes all future events. We can adopt this plan and write down all the subjects in seven different notebooks.

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    Relationship With His Co

    Uncertain about the fate of the Lords move in China following the collapse of the nationalist government in 1949, Watchman Nee sent Witness Lee and a few others to Taiwan in 1949 to continue the work there. The last contact between Watchman Nee and Witness Lee was in Hong Kong in March 1950, twenty-five years after Witness Lee first knew of Watchman Nee. At that time, the two of them had extensive fellowship about Watchman Nees return to the mainland. He told Witness Lee, What shall we do with so many churches on the mainland? I must return to take care of them and stand with them for the Lords testimony.

    Gods Dynamic Salvation Work

    Free Christian E

    Beginning in the sixteenth century, Protestant missionaries went to China for the gospel, but in the opening years of the twentieth century, following years of faithful labor and prayer, the Lords move in China began to advance dramatically after the martyrdom of many Christians in the Boxer Rebellion. In the 1920s, many believers, who were raised up by the Lord from among high-school and college students throughout China, became instrumental in the spread of the gospel. From among these students, Nee Shu-tsu was called and equipped by the Lord for His work.

    Nee Shu-tsu, whose English name was Henry Nee, was born of second-generation Christian parents in Foochow, China in 1903. His paternal grandfather studied at the American Congregational College in Foochow and became the first Chinese pastor among the Congregationalists in northern Fukien province. Nee Shu-tsu was consecrated to the Lord before his birth. Desiring a son, his mother had prayed to the Lord, saying, If I have a boy, I will present him to You. The Lord answered her prayer with the birth of a son. His father later impressed this point upon him, saying, Before you were born, your mother promised to present you to the Lord.

    From the evening I was saved, I began to live a new life, for the life of the eternal God had entered into me.

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    D Outlines Of The Bible

    We need another book to help us make good outlines of the Bible. We can consult Once a Year through the Bible . This book has good outlines. Many Christians all over the world have used the divisions outlined in this book for their study of the Bible.

    These reference books are useful to us in our study of the Bible. They are indispensable tools.


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