Article Summary:

Background information on Living Stream Ministry, the publishing house established to publish the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.

Living Stream Ministry

History and Purpose

Living Stream Ministry is a non-profit corporation that is primarily dedicated to the publication of Christian literature for edification in Christian faith. We publish Bibles, tracts, magazines, and books. We also produce publications from the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. Living Stream Ministry has one goal, to supply spiritual food for the nourishment of all believers that they may grow in the divine life for the sake of the building up of the Body of Christ. Living Stream Ministry was incorporated as a Christian publishing company in the United States in 1965 by Witness Lee, who served as the principal editor of Watchman Nee’s publishing company, the Shanghai Gospel Book Room. In many respects, Living Stream Ministry is the organizational continuation of the publishing activities begun by Watchman Nee in 1925. In 1996, for example, Living Stream Ministry completed and published the last of 62 volumes in a series entitled, The Collected Works of Watchman Nee. Living Stream Ministry also produces Christian materials for people at every stage of their human and spiritual development, including materials for children, young people, new believers, and mature believers. These materials are distributed in many formats, including:

  • Bibles. Our principal product is the Bible and New Testament. Living Stream Ministry publishes Bibles in over ten languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese (traditional and simplified), and Russian.
  • The Stream Magazine. A quarterly magazine that presents basic truths related to the Christian experience. The Stream is available by subscription, but it is also freely given to Christian bookstores throughout the United States and Canada.
  • Affirmation & Critique. A bi-annual theological journal that seeks to promote a reconsideration of essential Christian doctrines in line with the eternal purpose of God as presented in the Bible. Affirmation & Critique is indexed by the American Theological Library Association, and articles from it are routinely reviewed in New Testament Abstracts.
  • Life-study of the Bible. A half-hour radio program heard on over 50 Christian radio stations in English and 90 Christian radio stations in Spanish.
  • eManna. A free daily devotional that is delivered via e-mail six days a week. eManna is currently available in English, Spanish, Chinese (both traditional and simplified).
  • Books and gospel materials. The Catalog of Living stream Ministry books contains over 500 titles. Tracts and booklets that present some of the most basic gospel truths are printed in large quantities.
  • Audio and video tapes.

Watchman Nee and Witness Lee

Watchman Nee became a Christian in mainland China in 1920 at the age of seventeen and began writing in the same year. Throughout the nearly thirty years of his ministry he was clearly manifested as a unique gift from the Lord to His Body. Many of his books, including The Spiritual Man and The Normal Christian Life are widely regarded as classics of the Christian faith with over one million copies of each title in print.

Immediately after he was saved, Watchman Nee was intensely burdened to preach the gospel to his schoolmates and countrymen. He did not attend a theological school or Bible institute; instead, most of what he learned concerning Christ, the Spirit, and church history was acquired through studying the Bible and reading the books of spiritual men. He was gifted in being able to select, comprehend, discern, and memorize appropriate material. Watchman Nee became sick with tuberculosis of the lungs in 1924. During this time of illness, he was greatly exercised to trust in God for his existence, and God faithfully cared for him. In the spring of 1952, he was arrested and imprisonment. He was never released. On May 30, 1972, Watchman Nee ended his pilgrimage on this earth and rested with Christ, whom he served at the cost of his life. He left a piece of paper under his pillow, which had several lines written in large letters with a shaking hand: “Christ is the Son of God who died for the redemption of sinners and resurrected after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my belief in Christ.”

Witness Lee began to co-labor with Watchman Nee in 1932 and throughout his life he faithfully advanced and presented the truth entrusted to Watchman Nee. He was born in northern China in 1905, raised in a Christian family, and educated in English speaking schools. At the age of 19 he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and consecrated himself to preach the gospel. In 1949 Witness Lee was sent by Watchman Nee to Taiwan to ensure that the things delivered to them by the Lord would be advanced. In 1962 Witness Lee came to the United States and began to minister here. He ministered in weekly meetings and in weekend conferences, delivering several thousand spoken messages until 1997. He gave his last public conference in February 1997 at the age of 91. His major work, Life-Study of the Bible, comprises over 25,000 pages of commentary on every book of the Bible from the perspective of the believers’ enjoyment and experience of God’s divine life in Christ through the Spirit.

Christian, Community, and Business Affiliations

  • Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA), member since 2002
  • Christian Booksellers Association, member since 1981
  • Spanish Evangelical Publisher’s Association (SEPA), associate member since 1995
  • Union de Liberias y Editiorals cristianas,A.C.(UNILEC), member since 2000
  • Evangelical Christian Credit Union, member since 2000
  • Better Business Bureau, member since 1997
  • Chamber of Commerce, City of Anaheim, member since 1999
  • Distributing Bibles and books through Christian book distributors, including Anchor, Appalachian, Christian Book Distributors, Riverside, and Spring Arbor
  • Advertising Bibles and books through a wide variety evangelical media outlets, including: Apuntos Pastorales, Bible Review, Biblical Archeology Review, CBA Marketplace, Charisma, Christian Retailing, Christian Scholar’s Review, Impacto, Kairos, Mercado Cristiano, Ministries Today, Munce Marketing Group, New Man, Pentecostal Publishing, Preaching, Paragon Communications (radio), Salem Radio Representatives (radio), The Saturday Evening Post, Spirit Led Woman, Theology Digest, Theology Today, and Vida Cristiana.
  • Participating in a wide variety of evangelical conventions and book fairs, including the CBA International Booksellers convention, sponsored by CBA; Exploit International, sponsored by Youth for Christ; and the Frankfurt International Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany.
Posted in Background and tagged , , , .