Definition of False Teacher: One who presumes
to teach in the Name of the Lord when God has not sent him.
False Teachers - Watchman
Nee & Smith Wigglesworth
Playing God Instead of Trusting Him
Here are two spiritual
giants of human willpower, attempting to be Christian by great works
and sacrifices that come to naught.
Mike wrote to us:
I just read your
take on Andrew Wommack you sent to that lady. Here are my thoughts
after walking with Jesus for 40 years. I have listened
to Andrew a few times and do believe he is saved but like you, I also
believe he has bought the common heresy these days of the “Word
of Faith” group. It is really appealing to the flesh, like it was
to Adam that he could have God’s benefits but be “independent” at
the same time. It didn’t work then and won’t work now.
God is sovereign
but He has chosen to pass on His authority to His “believing” children.
Adam ruled the planet (under God) until he sold out to Satan. I do believe
that “In Christ” we do the same because we have been restored
to the place Adam was with God before the fall. “Now we are the
Son’s of God” 1John However all this authority is passed
on to us on a moment by moment revelation of God’s will in our
spirit. (a continual unveiling of Jesus). Jesus said, “I only do
what I see my Father do”. He humbled Himself to be dependent on
His Father’s Sovereignty
I am in agreement
with Smith Wigglesworth and Watchman Nee on most things and that is
the way they operated. Wigglesworth would always pray
and ask the Father what he should do in all circumstances and when God
would show him Smith would make it happen in “Jesus name”.
Nee taught that we have to be ever sensitive to the “revealing” of
the Spirit’s will in our spirit and move from that.
Mark 11:23-24 are
scriptures that the “name in and claim it” bunch
hang their hats on however they have it wrong. Jesus was teaching His
disciples how Faith operates and also how to get the faith to operate
with. He says we must receive God’s will by prayer first then when
we have peace regarding our requests then we can speak to the situation
and will have to obey. God remains sovereign because we first find out
what He wants then we have the authority to do it.
The Bible can be a
very dangerous book. We have the ability in our own will to read something
and then try to make it happen when it first has
to be revealed in our spirits before it is from God. We seek and wait
on Him to reveal His will regarding things and then with His power bring
it to pass. “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”
Basically, Jesus told
Peter that when He told him about the keys to the kingdom. Because
Peter had “seen” Jesus by revelation
from God he now “saw” the Father and as a result KNEW HIS
will and with that knowledge he could bring Heaven to Earth.
Enjoyed reading your info,
“The remarkable position of every soul is to be so inhabited by
Jesus as to become a living personality of God’s ideal Son.”
Many years ago, I, Victor, came across Watchman Nee’s many books
and thought, “This man seems to be a deep Christian and has so
much to say. It seems he has a powerful relationship with the Lord and
has analyzed the spiritual man and his development - but is he right?”
As a new believer, I knew a medical doctor, Lorne Rabuka, who proudly
professed faith in Christ and was the adult Sunday school teacher at
a Missionary Alliance church I was attending. He was quite taken up with
Nee’s concepts. I was impressed with Lorne, but wasn’t the
least attracted to Nee’s doctrine.
Lorne didn’t have the Spirit of God and wasn’t prepared
to obey Him in order to receive. How, therefore, could he so enjoy Nee’s
teachings unless they were intellectual and appealing to the flesh? The
fruit of the Tree of Knowledge to make a man wise?
“…that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination
to God” (Luke 16:15).
“Do not be turned away by different strange teachings, because
it is good for your hearts to be made strong by grace, and not by meats,
which were of no profit to those who took so much trouble over them” (Hebrews
Nearly two years later, my wife and I received the Spirit (read The
Baptism in the Holy Spirit). As a result, there was no longer any fellowship
with Lorne or those at the Alliance Church, who opposed the Spirit and
gifts. By His Spirit, the Lord was giving us to better know the difference
between good and evil, truth and error.
We then came together with a friend who had most of Nee’s books
and was also quite taken with Nee. He reveled in knowledge descriptive
of the spiritual realm. However, I still wasn’t attracted to Nee,
nor was my wife. Seeking after the Lord, as we did concerning many preachers,
movements, and matters, He revealed to me that Watchman Nee was not of
Watchman Nee was an intellectual spiritual exhibitionist, a showoff,
and worse, he was full of self-righteousness and reveling in it, in effect,
a sorcerer in the Name of the Lord, using truths and feigning holiness.
Nee was a self-made hero, a modern-day Baal.
Your statement of him, if true, bears witness to what I say:
“Nee taught that we have to be ever sensitive
to the ‘revealing’ of
the Spirit’s will in our spirit and move from that.”
That is an expression of pure abominable self-righteousness. “See
how sensitive I am to the Spirit,” he proclaims. The man was a
peacock in perpetual fanning. And saints know they’re looking at
Yes, Nee suffered great persecution; he was imprisoned; I understand
he even had his tongue cut out by the authorities because he refused
to stop “witnessing” and “preaching the Gospel,” but
not because he was a true witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He bore witness
by his own will and in his own power. He wasn’t working with Jesus
as Jesus worked with the Father.
Of such the Lord said:
Matthew 7:21-23 LITV
(21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will
enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My
Father in Heaven.
(22) Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy
in Your Name, and in Your Name cast out demons, and in Your Name do many
works of power?’
(23) And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart
from Me, those working lawlessness!’”
Mike, the Kingdom of Heaven isn’t about doctrine, intellectual
theory, or carnal knowledge of Scripture, but about a relationship with
the Lord; it’s about obeying, loving and knowing Him, and He knowing
the one who believes. That is the true faith.
The question now is, “Why are YOU deceived or impressed by Watchman
Now consider Smith Wigglesworth.
You say, “Wigglesworth would always pray
and ask the Father what he should do in all circumstances and when
God would show him Smith would
make it happen in ‘Jesus name’.”
Wigglesworth seems like a close cousin (if not brother) to Nee, as one
presuming and boasting to be an expert “Spirit Senser.” He
may not have verbalized the same way as Nee, but his actions speak the
same language. He is also similar to the “Word of Faith” preacher
you mention, Andrew Wommack. Wigglesworth is another “name it and
claim it” advocate, not being as God’s son God’s way,
but as God his own way, punching and kicking people to cast out devils
and forcing his will “in the Name of the Lord.”
Isn’t independence of God what the serpent offered Eve and the
kings of Babylon and Tyre coveted (Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28)? Isn’t
there a subtle difference between the true and the false? Perhaps you
can more explicitly point out the difference to us.
Yes, there are many occasions when the spiritual pilgrim in Christ seeks
God for answers. However, what you express here concerning Nee and Wigglesworth
seems to be something akin to man being the initiator and even “initiating
God” for his own will and pleasure. This would then be presumption,
not faith. It would be playing God, not trusting Him - trusting in oneself
to do the will of God when it is supposed to be God causing us to will
and to do. Such is anti-Christ.
Were there signs and wonders? So it’s reported with Wigglesworth.
So what? American Indians were healed by unbelieving Spanish explorers
because of soulish faith.
Mike, if it were possible to deceive the elect, the serpent would do
it. He is subtle. There’s only one thing he won’t or can’t
imitate, and that’s the
cross. He won’t sacrifice himself
for this world; otherwise this world is no longer of any value to him.
You write of the Lord Jesus Christ, “He
says we must receive God’s
will by prayer first then when we have peace regarding our requests then
we can speak to the situation and will have to obey.”
Yes, Jesus spoke of seeking and asking, but I don’t find doctrine
anywhere in the Bible quite as you seem to suggest, in terms of always
having to ask specifically about matters (perhaps it’s a choice
of words). We can see several examples of where men were given to know
God’s will without, or other than by, prayer. You’re right
that we need to hear His voice and be obedient, but a time comes when
we hear His voice without striving in asking. It is a matter of nature,
faith being the key. When we believe, we’re free and know what’s
required of us, delighting to do His will.
“The Bible can be a very dangerous book.
We have the ability in our own will to read something and then try
to make it happen when it
first has to be revealed in our spirits before it is from God.”
I hear you. We’re so inclined to carnal interpretations, but by
God’s grace. Trying to fulfill the letter as we understand it intellectually
is folly. Sons of God will be led of the Spirit. And Peter spoke of how
many didn’t understand Paul’s letters and wrested his teachings
to their destruction.
You quote Wigglesworth, “‘The remarkable position of every
soul is to be so inhabited by Jesus as to become a living personality
of God’s ideal Son.’”
If Smith was speaking of God doing the work (we’re His workmanship),
true. The saints have a glorious privilege and calling, no question.
However, if Smith speaks of our trying to be spiritual as Nee worked
at being spiritual in his own right, then again, we have the anti-Christ
spirit substituting for God’s work and, in effect, stealing His
I’m not sure which he meant to be communicating in that statement.
Do you know, Mike? Nevertheless we do see his fruits, which speak loudest.
Our lot as saints is a battle between spirit and flesh, light and darkness,
truth and error, faith and unbelief, and good and evil.
Victor Hafichuk and Paul Cohen
Another person asked us about Nee:
I have looked @ your site, it is indeed very sound and revealing i hope
that belivers will take time out to find facts from fiction.
But what do you make of watchman nee!?
It’s been over 30 years since I’ve red Watchman Nee. Here’s
what I can tell you about him from what I recall and glancing at a website
today about his life’s work (not that I could judge these things
when I was a new believer, but I tell you what I see now): The Kingdom
of God isn’t found in the meat and drink of men’s doctrines.
“Do not be carried about with different and strange doctrines,
for it is good for the heart to be established with grace, not with foods,
in which those who have walked in them were not helped” (Hebrews
“For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness,
and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17 KJV).
Nee spoke some truth, but he operated from his carnal intellect and
human will. That’s why his teachings are dead rather than life-giving. “Knowledge
puffs up, but love edifies” (1 Corinthians 8:1 MKJV).
What’s the difference between our doctrinal teachings and others’ like
Nee? Besides some specifics (not negligible ones, either) we call for
repentance and the taking up of the
cross by faith, according
definition of those things. Only He can show a person this difference.
Here’s an example exposing Nee in the unrepentance of his uncrucified
life. The following was sent to us by someone quoting Nee from his book,
Spiritual Reality or Obsession, impressed by his spirituality:
“If we refuse to accept the discipline of the Holy Spirit, we
deny to HIM the opportunity to lead us into spiritual reality.
We need once again to consecrate ourselves more
completely and more thoroughly so as to give the Spirit of the LORD
a chance to perfect HIS
work and to guide us into spiritual reality.”
Are we the ones giving God a chance, or is He the One perfecting whom
He chooses? Hands down, it’s the latter.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that
you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, so that
whatever you may ask the Father in My Name He may give to you” (John
“Spiritual reality is trueness. It is the
truth which sets us free. Oftentimes a Christian fails to touch trueness
and falls into falsehood
instead. He is deceived and bound by falsehood. He does not clearly see
the true character of a thing; yet he considers himself clear. What he
thinks and does is wrong, but reckons himself to be most right. Such
a condition we call ‘obsession.’”
Nee was describing himself. He was obsessed with his own righteousness
and religiosity. He dwelt in the philosophy of his mind and drove himself
to live accordingly by his willpower. It was his work. But those who
believe the Lord Jesus Christ dwell in Him, and He in them does
the work. They don’t try to carry the impossible weight of being
their own saviors, which is what Nee was truly preaching and doing.
It comes down to this, Patrick, the simplicity that is in Christ:
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If a man loves Me, he
will keep My Word. And My Father will love him, and We will come to him
and make Our abode with him’” (John 14:23 MKJV).
Here are two writings that teach the ways of God we have learned through
the obedience of His faith, which can also help you see the falsehood
in men’s teachings (particularly if you take up the cross to follow
The True Marks of a Cult