1922 - I (Herald Hsu ???, one of the descendants of fallen Adam) was born into a family who were members of the Presbyterian church in North China. When I was 6 years old, my father died. At 14 years old, I was born-again by the Holy Spirit and baptized by sprinkling (I did not understand the real meaning of baptism at that time). Now I write down the spiritual realities and facts of the Heavenlies (Greek, Eph.1:3; 2:6, etc.) in Chinese and English.
Being disciplined by the Holy Spirit requires voluntary obedience and submission to the disciplines of the Holy Spirit. These disciplines include all things that happen in our lives. “All things work together for good - to those who are the called according to His purpose - to be conformed to the image of His Son.” (Rom. 8:28-29). "All things work together" which means the disciplines of the Holy Spirit; being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ as God’s Eternal Purpose.
Being anointed by the Holy Spirit is the result of voluntary obedience to the disciplines of the Holy Spirit. Christ in Greek means“Anointed”. Christian means “Christ one”, i.e. union with Christ, or “in life, in business, in service, manifesting and living out of Christ”. Paul says: “I (i.e. my old Adamic or natural life) have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). This means that my old man was crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6); it is no longer I who lives (i.e. because of voluntarily learning obedience through sufferings and denying myself, taking up my cross daily, and following Him), but Christ lives in me (i.e. Christ manifests or lives out through me).
(1) Spiritual milk - Like the Boy Jesus...
1940 - By grace, when in my third year of junior high, I read a lot of gospel booklets by Watchman Nee. They were very interesting. I also learned to sing, to play the organ, to pray, to attend meetings, and do all the things that Christians do. After graduation, I was diagnosed with pleurisy, and spent a year in hospital. My mother prayed for me.I also prayed to God too,saying, “Lord, if you heal me, I am willing to be a preacher.” (I thought that would have to be the worst job around!) Later, the Lord answered my prayer and healed me without the need for doctors to drain fluid from my lungs.
1942 - The Pacific war (between Japan and the USA) was under way. By grace I went to inland China to finish high school. After graduation, I went to Chong-Qing (??), Si-chuan (??), and prepared for the college entrance examination. I planned to become a mechanical engineer so as to advance China’s industry. I had totally forgotten about my promise to become a preacher.
1945 - The Japanese surrendered in the war and I entered Jiao-Tong University (????known as MIT in China). By God’s grace, a brother in Christ took me to a meeting in Chong-Qing Christian Assembly Hall (????????where the teaching was influenced by Watchman Nee ???). Soon the university moved back to Shanghai and I got an opportunity to attend the meetings of Watchman Nee’s group. By God’s grace I learnt fervent Bible-reading, prayer, fellowship with saints, taking part in church services and leading people to Christ.
1947 - One evening, Watchman Nee, accompanied by Miss Wang Pei-Zhen (???), came to our school. I had got the impression from a booklet by Watchman Nee’s groups that they thought that spiritual light only came from them. I didn’t believe that, so I asked brother Nee at the first opportunity: “If a servant of the Lord from another Christian group gives us more or higher spiritual light, do we receive it?” Brother Nee thought for a while and then said: “God did not give us all the light. If somebody gives us more light, we should be very glad to receive it!” As a result, I had a lot of respect for him!
That evening brother Nee emphasized to the young people who were attending and who wanted to serve the Lord, these three things:
1. Read the Bible - if possible, memorize it word for word. The Chinese translation is one of the best translations in the world - its mood, its wording, its expression, are weighty and important.
2. Obey the disciplines of the Holy Spirit - there is a need to be like Jesus was in the days of His flesh. He learned obedience through suffering. Men may be wrong, things may be out of order, circumstances may be unreasonable - but God allows those things that are happening to us to show on the one hand how deeply self-centered we are and that we must voluntarily deny Self - we need to “bear the cross”; and on the other hand, because we learn obedience through sufferings, Christ can then manifest Himself and live out through us which means that we experience the resurrection from the dead. Paul learned this lesson and said, “We are pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken (or left behind); smitten down, yet not destroyed. Always bearing about in the body the dying (or putting to death) of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in our body” (2 Cor. 4:8-10). (Author’s note: The matter of “obedience to the discipline of the Holy Spirit” was one of brother T. Austin-Sparks’ main emphases in ministry, i.e. Christ and the Cross. Watchman Nee visited TAS for the first time in 1933 and there was a big spiritual change in Watchman Nee as a result.)
3. Embracing voluntary poverty - Brother Nee introduced Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) to us; suggesting that any true servant of the Lord has to voluntarily be in poverty in life and in services. This means not pursuing money, interests, positions, powers, reputation, fame, etc.. By God’s grace, I was and am greatly blessed!
After this meeting, the Lord led me to be baptized again by immersion (recognizing my union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection) and I began to memorize the New Testament.
1948 - After the war there was a special first time conference for Watchman Nee’s groups, co-workers and elders in China. At that time I was the leader responsible for the Christian Student Fellowship of our school, and as a result I was invited to attend that conference. The oldest sister who was a co-worker of Watchman Nee, Lee Yuan-Ru (??? four years older than Watchman Nee), asked brother Nee: “Why did you work in the pharmaceutical industry thus causing offence to a lot of good believers?” Brother Nee wept and said to those elders who were businessmen: “You forced me to do that!” (in Chinese dialect ????????) because the businessmen had not given financial support. As a result, brother Nee had felt that he had no choice but to support the work himself. Then sister Wang Pei-Zhen (???) cried aloud and the whole assembly cried. I also cried, but I didn’t know why. After that, almost all the workers and elders (including myself) surrendered all things and dedicated ourselves again to the Lord. The Lord also reminded me of my promise and indicated to me that from now on I really would be a preacher.
This conference led a spiritual revival in the whole of China! Every Wednesday evening I would often go to sister Wang’s apartment for supper and we would talk about the student’s work. I asked her about brother Nee and the pharmaceutical business. She said in part: “Because brother Nee preached the gospel of Christ to them, a few medical students dedicated themselves to ministry. They were sent to inland China to preach the gospel. Brother Nee had no financial foundation to support them, so they were all poor. One of them got Tuberculosis and died. Brother Nee never asked for any donations for them and now his heart is broken (i.e. "I encouraged them to come out of the world; I sent them to die, I cannot support them"), and decided to work in a business to support those young people." When I heard this, I cried again! Subconsciously I resolved that later I would teach mathematics in high school to support my ministry. (In 1951, when I was in Taipei, I really did get to teach mathematics - in Jian-Guo high school. ????).
One day we invited God’s servant to preach the gospel to our schoolmates.We pasted a 50 feet high billboard on the wall of the school building which said: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”. The head of the school saw it and called me to his office, and said: “Firstly, there are no sinners in our school; your public notice must be pasted outside of the school. Secondly, you have made our school a religious school. I have ordered workers to wash and to clean it away already”. (It took a whole week's cleaning). Silently I was dismissed from his office. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a brother, Jin Jian (??) and I prepared 4 pieces of white cloth with written Bible words such as “Believe in Jesus Christ, you have Eternal Life” etc. and wore them on our chests and backs as moving advertisements in the school. On Sundays we wore them when we went to church meetings. Lots of people called us mentally deranged although we had no mental disorders. Later, Christians in many cities heard these things and they organized gospel bands marching in the streets to testify of Jesus Christ.
Some would say, based on the biblical record, that the above experiences characterizethe “spiritual milk stage” of the work of God (or Christ). This stage includes works such asleading people to Christ; taking church services; studying doctrines of the Bible, and so on. Later the Holy Spirit revealed to me what spiritual milk was and showed me that what I had received and done was different from the Boy Jesus. When the Boy Jesus was 12 years old, He was in the temple, both hearing and asking questions, (i.e. receiving spiritual milk), but He “must be in the things of His Father” (in Greek)! "His Father" signifies two things: (1) Origin; (2) the Household of God. This means that the Boy Jesus received true spiritual milk in that: (1) the Origin or the Root was not from His own likes or dislikes, but all began and came from His Father; (2) He cared about the whole household of God and never built up His own denominations or sects. But in my recollection, when I received spiritual milk the origin was all from the likes or dislikes of myself and not from the Father, and I didn't care about the whole household of God but only built up my denomination or Watchman Nee’s groups (or local churches). May all of us in the future receive true spiritual milk so that we are all beginning from the Father and also building up the whole household of God!
From 1955 to 1957
1957 - Special talks on the Locality Law between TAS and Witness Lee.
1959 - A Tragic year for Watchman Nee’s Groups
"The great enemy does not give up his determination to interrupt fellowship and to spoil the work of the Lord by bringing division among His people. Everywhere this evil work is being pressed with increasing intensity. The enemy is set upon destroying anything that will result in the Lord Jesus coming into His full place. We must stand and withstand and do all in our power to keep this ground from him. It is costly, and it demands that we let go all that is only personal, and that we stand for the glory of our Lord's name and His interests alone... I am sure that you will never make me or my ministry a ground of division. There is no need to fight for me; the Lord is on the Throne, and He can order things to His Own Will - while we pray and trust Him."
Chinese website: www.geocities.com/heraldhsu