How To Read Watchman Nee Properly! 

1) Watchman Nee's writings were translated by Stephen Kaung into fifty-five books at Christian Fellowship Publishers from mostly Nee's magazines, and there have been some 21st century creations: a) The Secret of Christian Living (compliments The Normal Christian Life); b) Journeying Towards The Spiritual (shorter version of The Spiritual Man); c) Powerful According to God (a book of prayer); d) Spiritual Exercise (a shorter version of the Basic Lesson Series); e) Serve the Spirit (compliments The Release of the Spirit), and f) Spiritual Discernment (notes found). That makes a total of 62 books from CFP if you include The Release of the Spirit. There are four books by Kaung which are excellent. I would not have known what true spiritual life was like without Watchman Nee's help. Through the discipline of the Holy Spirit and our environment when certain truths are accepted, the infilling of the Holy Spirit occurs. Spirit, soul and body are divided to increase clarity in one's own spirit so as not to be be muddied by the outer man. Reading the Bible along with the most spiritual of Christian writers is profitable for we are not an island unto ourselves. 

2) Watchman Nee was also translated by Angus Kinnear into 5 books from Nee's magazines and talks. There is a study guide for The Normal Christian Life and a biography by Kinnear, Against the Tide, at Christian Literature Crusade. At CLC are two other writings of Nee: David Smith translated Song of Songs, and Sure Foundation translated Release of the Spirit which CFP provides a copy of also. I have found Angus Kinnear mistaken on a few occasions in his biography and the footnotes to his translations due to his predelictions. Anyway, that brings the total to 70 books. 

3) Read only the white covers first. Later, read Kinnear's translations, then venture into other views and translations if you wish, and you will see them for what they are (see Misreading Nee). This course of action is most profitable in this order. It may not seem apparent now, but years down the road these instructions will be appreciated in that it is better to start with reading that which is most spiritual, trustworthy, and accurate first. It is better to never read Nee at all than to start reading from the false translations and false views. That will totally mess you up.

4) You come to the view that it is not him that is speaking forth, but the Holy Spirit, so that it is no longer he that lives, but Christ in him (that is, the life of Christ). The explanations Watchman Nee gives about matters, you will search and search, but nowhere can be found a better explanation that is so right for our spirit apart from the word of God itself. That is the work of the Holy Spirit reaching the perfect and right answer to our resurrected life. We need not perform mental gymnastics to analyze a matter ad finitum once a truth has already been reached. This is the vital lesson. Men do not know how to stop analyzing once they have already reached the truth. If they reached the truth, why are they still searching? 

5) What I have discovered is that as soon as the spiritual is reached, there is often someone close behind who will misuse it not caring for the truth. An analogy would be like a person standing on a table in which the table legs are strong enough to hold the person up, but as soon as he or she tries to pull or lift another person up, the table and both of them will topple over if the one being lifted pulls back too hard. The one on the table knows how to stand and stay there, but the one being lifted does not nor does he want to; that is why he pulled so hard. It would seem better to have never offered such a person to come up in the first place, since now that person, not relying on Christ, is looking for his own ways to get up which always fails him.


On page 149 of The King and the Kingdom of Heaven, referring to Satan, "when he finds out he cannot swallow up, he counterfeits and adds something more. He gives people that which is false. He may even give people false fellowship, false regeneration. Satan lays stress on 'the knowledge which is falsely so called' (1 Tim. 6.20) and thus causes people to ignore the blood, the cross, and so forth."


Troy Brooks