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"Revive thy work in the midst of the years" (Hab. 3.2). This was the cry of the prophet Habakkuk in view of the ruin and judgment of the nation of Judah. He pleaded with God that in wrath He would remember mercy. He was thereby shown that "the righteous shall live by his faith" (2.4): "for though the fig tree shall not flourish, neither shall fruit be on the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no food; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in Jehovah, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (3.17-18). By faith he saw the Lord coming in His glory, going forth for the salvation of His people and of His Anointed. Hence this cry of faith! We live in the last days. We see ruin all around, and yet with eyes of faith we can see God is working steadily towards the consummation of His eternal purpose. His work is one of recovery, restoring all the fullness of His riches in Christ which was once committed to the Church but which was lost through her unfaithfulness. By the grace given, the Church is yet to be arrayed in fine linen, the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19.8). She is to be presented to Christ a glorious Church, holy and without blemish (Eph. 5.27). Today God is calling for the faithful to give themselves wholly to Him, to stand firmly with Him and to serve this purpose of His single-mindedly. Who will answer the call?
In 1948 brother Watchman Nee gathered with his fellow workers from all over the country of China and spent more than a month together in the city of Shanghai, waiting upon the Lord and talking about the recovery work of God. Notes were taken by some of the attendees at these informal meetings. During these deliberations a wide range of subjects was discussed over and over again. As an aid to the reader's focus, a rearrangement of these talks has been made in the present volume according to the topics considered and not according to the dates spoken. And though the reader will notice a few instances of repetition in some aspects of the material presented from talk to talk, it was felt it would be best not to delete them since in each case God's servant was found approaching the subject at hand from a slightly different perspective, in pursuance of which he will be seen at times clarifying and enlarging further upon what was presented elsewhere. Nevertheless, to render these talks more universally applicable, all matters of local interest have been deleted. Generally, the topics covered in this volume are those such as the Way of Recovery, the History of Recovery, the Recovery of Body Life, the Recovery of Body Ministry, the Deliverance from Mammon, and New Testament Ministry.
Let it be our prayer that God will use these messages to revive our spirits, renew our consecration, and reinforce our commitment to the recovery work of God in this last hour.