In addition to publishing periodicals, Watchman Nee also published many books for the carrying out of his ministry. Some of these books were messages published in his periodicals and reprinted in book form. All of the available material by Watchman Nee have been published in The Collected Works of Watchman Nee. Many of the titles listed below are available for online reading at www.ministrybooks.org.
Books on the Gospel
Although gospel preaching was not the central feature of his ministry, Watchman Nee published twenty-one booklets on the gospel.
- There Is God
- God Is Willing
- The Passover
- The Suffering of the Cross
- The Paths to Hell (1)
- The Paths to Hell (2)
- The Paths to Hell (3)
- The Robber Saved (Luke 23:39-43)
- The Salvation of the Adulterous Woman (John 4:1-15, 28-29)
- Why Good Men Go to Hell
- Can Morality Save Us
- Do You Know That You Are Saved
- Assurance of Salvation
- Christ as the Manifestation of God
- Christ and Christianity
- Christ as the New Life
- Christ and the Christian
- For What Did He Come?, by Ruth Lee
- God Loves the World, by W. Lee
- A Rich Man Perished (Luke 16:19-31), by W. Lee
He also published a book of questions and answers on gospel truth, giving explanations on fifty aspects of the gospel.
Books for the Edification of New Believers
In his training on Kuling Mountain, Watchman shared a series of fifty messages for the edification of new believers. They are listed as follows:
- Clearance of the Past
- Public Confession
- Separation from the World
- Joining the Church
- Laying On of Hands
- Abolishing of Distinctions
- Bible Study
- Rising Early
- Attending Meetings
- Kinds of Meetings
- The Lord's Day
- Singing Hymns
- Breaking Bread
- Bringing People to the Lord
- Salvation for the Whole House
- After Sinning
- Confession and Recompense
- Restoring a Brother
- The Believer's Reaction
- Freedom from Sin
- Our Life
- The Will of God
- How to Handle Money
- Selecting a Mate
- Husband and Wife
- Clothing and Food
- Governmental Forgiveness
- The Discipline of God
- The Dealing of the Holy Spirit
- Resisting the Devil
- Head Covering
- The Way of the Church
- Loving the Brothers
- The Body of Christ
- The Authority of the Church
The intention was that every local church would use these fifty messages for the edification of new believers every week for one year and repeat them yearly.
The following thirty-five books were reprints of messages published in Notes of Scriptural Messages, which Watchman published for the use of young believers:
- Man's Only Sin
- Forgiveness and Confession
- The Other Aspect of the Trespass Offering
- Salvation by Baptism
- The Meaning of Baptism
- The Mind of Christ
- The Seal of the Holy Spirit
- A Believer's Worth before God
- The Numbering of Spiritual Days
- The Four Ministers in the New Testament
- Five Parables concerning Things New and Old
- Our Lord's Sanctifying Himself
- The Sympathy of the High Priest
- The Power of Choosing
- The Reason the Lord Was Not Disappointed
- God Interrupting Man's Speaking
- Loving God
- Waste and Pragmatism
- Four Things a Christian Should Pay Attention To
- A Noble Deed
- Mary (John 20:16)
- "And Peter"
- Tell Him
- David and Mephibosheth
- The Individual and the Corporate
- The Widow, the Wife, and the Virgin
- Leaking and Drifting
- In Nothing Be Anxious
- The Two Rests
- The Pathway to Glory—through Jerusalem
- How to Know the Will of God
- Faith and Obedience
- A Defeated Righteous Man
Books of General Messages for Christians
The following nineteen books were published as general messages for Christians:
- The Messenger of the Cross
- The Work of the Holy Spirit
- Living by Faith
- Living by Faith and the Course of Entering into a Truth
- A Shallow Life
- Authority and Submission
- Spiritual or Mental
- The Way to the Knowledge of God
- Self-knowledge and God's Light
- Man's First Sin
- Universal Fatherhood: A Fallacy
- Ministering to the House or to God
- Worshipping the Ways of God
- The Work of Prayer
- The Prayer Ministry of the Church
- Worship God, by Ruth Lee
- The Kingdom of the Heavens, by W. Lee
- Gleanings of the Genealogy of Christ, by W. Lee
- Light on Dispensations, by W. Lee
He also published one hundred forty-four messages in twelve volumes called Twelve Baskets Full. Thirty-five of these messages were reprints of the above-mentioned books, and seven were reprints of books on central messages. Of the one hundred two messages remaining, ten were given by Yu Cheng-hwa and twelve by Witness Lee. The remaining eighty were given by Watchman Nee.
Books on Central Messages
The Lord burdened and commissioned Watchman Nee with a specific testimony of Christ in His crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, return, and kingdom. His ministry, therefore, was focused on Christ's death and resurrection for the producing of the church in life to experience the victory of Christ that His kingdom might be ushered in. For this reason, he considered messages on these matters as the central messages. His burden to hold the overcomer conferences and to publish The Present Testimony was to present such central messages. He also translated books in this same category into Chinese. All the books in the other categories mentioned in the first part of this chapter were intended by him to prepare the believers to apprehend these central messages, which were mainly contained in the following twenty-two books:
- The Details of Spiritual Cultivation
(original English title: The Christian Life and Warfare) published in June 1927. This book was the initial step to writing The Spiritual Man.
- The Spiritual Man
Published in three volumes in the fall of 1928. This book was not only the central one but also the greatest one among Brother Nee's writings. It covers the following main points: 1) the three parts of man—spirit, soul, and body; 2) the distinction between soul and spirit; 3) the fleshly Christian; 4) the soulish believer; 5) the subjective aspect of the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit; 6) the spiritual man; and 7) the spiritual warfare.
After publishing two editions of The Spiritual Man, Watchman Nee realized that many of his readers became introspective. He also felt that the book was too perfectly written and too detailed. For these reasons he decided not to publish further editions. This was especially true after 1939 when he saw that spiritual warfare was not an individual matter but a corporate one. He told me that his view of spiritual warfare in The Spiritual Man was based mainly upon the writings and experience of Evan Roberts and Jessie Penn-Lewis. Roberts and Penn-Lewis saw only the individual aspect of spiritual warfare, and thus they presented it as a difficult matter. But over ten years after the publication of The Spiritual Man, Watchman began to realize that spiritual warfare, according to Ephesians 6, must be carried out by the Body of Christ in a corporate way. For this reason he made a final decision to discontinue the publication of this book. However, having later realized in Taiwan that with the exception of the chapter on spiritual warfare, this book could be quite helpful to believers in the matter of spiritual life, we decided to reprint it. Anyone who reads this book should keep in mind the above remarks.
- Having Been Made Dead to the Law (Rom. 7:4, 15-19).
- The Extent of the Believer's Salvation.
This book tells us that God's salvation extends into our conscience (Heb. 9:14), heart (Matt. 5:8; Phil 4:7), soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30), thought (2 Cor. 10:5), speech (James 1:26), the lust of the body (Rom. 8:12-13), the members (Rom. 6:13, 19), and the ego (Gal. 2:20).
- The Overcoming Life (1 John 5:12; Phil. 1:21).
- The Normal Christian Life.
This book contains messages on Romans 5, 6, 7, 8, and 12 given by Watchman Nee on his trip to Europe in 1938 and 1939. It was published in English and translated into Chinese.
- A Two-sided Truth (Phil. 2:12-18).
The twofoldness is this: On one hand God desires us to "work out" our salvation, and on the other hand, God "works in" us. We work out what God works within us.
- Two Principles of Conduct (Gen. 2:9, 16-17).
These are the principle of life and the principle of right or wrong. Christians should live by the first principle, not by the second.
- In Christ (1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 8:1-2; 2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 1:14; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 1:2; Col. 2:10; Eph. 1:3; John 16:33; 2 Cor. 12:2).
We Christians are persons in Christ, enjoying redemption, life, peace, victory, and all spiritual blessings in Him.
- God's Masterpiece (Eph. 2:1-10).
The believers are God's masterpiece in Christ through His death, resurrection, and ascension.
- The New Covenant (Heb. 8:6, 8-13).
The new covenant is a better covenant, enacted with the redeeming blood of Christ and guaranteed and executed by the resurrected Christ in His eternal priesthood according to the power of an indestructible life.
- The Renewing of the Mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23).
The believers' minds should be renewed that they may put off the old man and put on the new.
- The Power of Resurrection (Phil. 3:10; Acts 2:32-33; Eph. 1:19-23; 2 Cor. 4:7).
The power of resurrection is the power of the Holy Spirit, in which the believers live, work, and overcome, and by which the church is built up.
- A Prayer for Revelation (Eph. 1:15-23).
The apostle Paul prayed in Ephesians 1 for the believers to receive revelation concerning the hope of God's calling, the riches of the glory of God's inheritance in the saints, the greatness of His power to the believers, and the church as the Body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all.
- Christ Is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
This book is composed of five chapters: 1) Christ as the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6); 2) Christ as the resurrection and the life (John 11:25); 3) Christ as the bread of life and the light of life (John 6:35; 8:12); 4) Christ as the "I Am" (John 8:24, 28, 58); and 5) Christ as the rock for the church (Matt. 16:16-18).
- Christ Is All Spiritual Matters and Things. This book also comprises five chapters. The first three chapters are the same as the first three chapters of the preceding book; chapter four is on Christ being the matters and things of God (John 1:29; 6:35; 8:12; 11:25; 14:6; 1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 3:4; 1 Tim. 1:1; Psa. 27:1); and chapter five is on Christ versus matters or things (John 8:28; Col. 3:3-4; 1:16-20).
- Christ Becoming Our Wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30).
God has put us in Christ and has made Christ in us to be our wisdom for our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
- Christ Is Our Righteousness.
This book comprises three chapters: 1) the righteousness of God (Rom. 3:21-28); 2) Christ as our righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30); and 3) our being made the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
- The Holy Spirit and Reality (John 4:24; 16:13; 1 John 5:6).
Reality is in the Holy Spirit. Everything that is in the Holy Spirit is reality.
- The Glorious Church or Holy and without Blemish (Eph. 5:22-32).
The messages in this book use Eve in Genesis 2, the wife in Ephesians 5, the woman in Revelation 12, and the bride in Revelation 21 to illustrate all the spiritual aspects concerning the church's being glorious, holy, and without blemish.
- The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
This book is on the three aspects of the full experience of a believer. The first aspect is to know God the Father and to experience Him as the source of all blessings, as portrayed by the experience of Abraham. The second aspect is to know the inheritance of the Son and to enjoy all the rich inheritance God the Father prepared in Christ for the believer, as portrayed by the experience of Isaac. The third aspect is to know the discipline of the Holy Spirit and to experience the dealings of the natural life and the Holy Spirit working Christ into the believers, as portrayed in the experience of Jacob.
- The Breaking of the Outer Man and the Release of the Spirit (John 12:24; Heb. 4:12-13; John 4:23-24; 1 Cor. 2:11-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Rom. 1:9; 7:6; 8:4-8; Gal. 5:16, 22-23, 25).
This book stresses the breaking of our outer man, which is the natural man, that our spirit with the Holy Spirit may be released from within us.
Books on the Practicality of the Church
In his books on central messages, Watchman Nee covered the reality of the church. He was also burdened to put out five books on the practicality of the church:
- The Assembly Life.
This book comprises an introduction and four chapters. In the introduction he stressed the need of the church. The subjects of the chapters are as follows: 1) the authority of the church, the eldership; 2) the practice of fellowship among the local churches; 3) how to meet; and 4) the boundary of a local church being the boundary of the city in which the local church is.
- Rethinking the Work.
This book is Brother Nee's main work concerning the practicality of the church. It is composed of ten chapters mainly dealing with the following points: 1) who the apostles are; 2) how the local churches are established; 3) how the elders are appointed; 4) the ground of oneness and the ground of division; 5) the relationship between the work and the churches; and 6) the organization of a local church.
This book was translated into English under the title Concerning Our Missions and was reprinted under the title The Normal Christian Church Life.
- Further Talks on the Church Life.
This book is composed of the messages given by Watchman Nee in 1950 and 1951 after World War II and mainly deals with: 1) the ground of the church; 2) the content of the church; 3) the oneness of the church; and 4) the service of the church.
- The Orthodoxy of the Church.
This book comprises messages given by Watchman Nee on the seven epistles in Revelation 2 and 3 concerning the church life.
- Church Affairs.
This book contains a course of Watchman Nee's training at Kuling Mountain concerning the business affairs of the church.
Books on the Workers of the Lord
- The Ministry of God's Word
The contents of this book are a training course of Brother Nee given at Kuling Mountain on the ministers of the Word of God and their ministry.
- The Character of the Lord's Worker
Also a training course given on Kuling Mountain dealing with the character of one who works for the Lord.
Books on Bible Study
The following are the publications on Bible study:
- Where Is Heaven?
(Heb. 8:1; 2 Cor. 12:2; Isa. 14:12-14; Psa. 75:6-7; 48:2; Ezek. 1:1, 4; Zech. 6:6, 8; Job 26:7).
- A Synopsis of the Book of Revelation
Gives some crucial knowledge for studying Revelation and a full outline of its twenty-two chapters.
- Bible Studies for Beginners
Contains twenty-six lessons.
- Study on Revelation
Concerns the prophecies of the church, the Jews, the world, the great Babylon, and the New Jerusalem.
- Study on Matthew
Concerns the kingdom of the heavens.
- The Song of Songs
Concerns the stages of the spiritual life.
- The Way to Study the Scriptures
Gives about forty different ways for studying the Bible.
- Abstracts of the Scriptures
Is in four volumes and contains the abstracts of forty-four books of the Bible from Genesis to Acts, leaving Romans to Revelation to be finished.
- Once a Year through the Bible
Gives the subjects and the outlines of all the books of the Bible with assigned portions for daily reading.
- Fifty-two Basic Truths in the Scriptures, by W. Lee
Contains the following:
1) Condition of Man; 2) The Love of God; 3) The Redemption of Christ; 4) The Work of the Holy Spirit; 5) Repenting and Believing; 6) Forgiveness; 7) Cleansing; 8) Sanctification; 9) Justification; 10) Reconciliation with God; 11) Regeneration; 12) Eternal Life; 13) Freedom; 14) Salvation; 15) Assurance of Salvation; 16) The Security of Salvation; 17) Obeying the Sense of Life; 18) Living in the Fellowship of Life; 19) Consecration; 20) Dealing with Sin; 21) To Be Led; 22) Doing the Will of God; 23) To Be Filled with the Holy Spirit; 24) Preaching the Gospel; 25) Serving the Lord; 26) A Few Matters Related to a Believer's Life; 27) Knowing God; 28) The Faithfulness of God and the Righteousness of God; 29) The Election and Predestination of God; 30) The Union of God with Man; 31) The Person of Christ; 32) The Precious Blood of Christ; 33) Law and Grace; 34) In Adam and in Christ; 35) The Two Natures of a Believer; 36) Three Lives and Four Laws; 37) Union with Christ; 38) The New Testament Service; 39) Believers and Sin; 40) Receiving the Reward; 41) Entering into the Kingdom of the Heavens; 42) Sufferings; 43) The Church; 44) The Angels; 45) The Devil; 46) The World; 47) Sin; 48) Death and Resurrection; 49) Judgment; 50) Heaven and Hell; 51) The Rapture of the Believers; 52) The Second Coming of Christ.
In addition to all the above books, some spiritual books in English were translated under Brother Nee's publication ministry through the years.
- The following eleven books were on the central messages, mostly translated by Brother Nee himself:
- The Cross of Christ, chapter one by Andrew Murray and chapter two by Jessie Penn-Lewis
- Union with Christ in Death, by Jessie Penn-Lewis
- The Way of Deliverance, by Jessie Penn-Lewis
- The Meaning of the Gospel, by T. Austin-Sparks
- The Three Main Principles of the Cross, by T. Austin-Sparks
- A Manifested Mystery, by T. Austin-Sparks
- Victorious Life Is a Real Fact, by T. Austin-Sparks
- Resurrection Life and the Body of Christ, by T. Austin-Sparks
- The Reigning Life, by C. H. Usher
- Victory Is in the Union with Christ, by Mackee
- God's Plan of Redemption, by Mrs. Charles A. McDonough, translated by Yu Cheng-hwa
- The following seven books on inner life were translated by Brother Yu Cheng-hwa. These books are helpful if they are used properly.
- Sweet Smelling Myrrh, an autobiography of Madame Guyon
- Life out of DeathSpiritual Torrent, by Madame Guyon
- A Short, Easy Method of Prayer, by Madame Guyon
- Letters by Madame Guyon
- The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence
- Spiritual Maxims, by Brother Lawrence
- Maxims of the Saints, by Father Fenelon
- The following eight books on general messages were translated by others:
- The Son of God, by J. G. Bellett
- Straight Paths for the Children of God, by A. M.
- The Streams in the Desert, by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
- Christianity or Religion, by A. C. Gaebelein
- How to Bring Men to Christ, by R. A. Torrey
- Seen and Heard, an autobiography of James M'Kendrick
- The Twofoldness of Divine Truth, by Robert Govett, translated by Yu Cheng-hwa
- Modern Science and the Long Day in Joshua, by Harry Rimmer
Chart of Things to Come shows the outline of all prophecies concerning the future and depicts the raptures of the saints, the great tribulation, the coming of Christ, the judgment at the judgment seat of Christ, the millennium, the judgment at the great white throne, and the new heaven and new earth with the New Jerusalem.
Under Watchman Nee's publication ministry, three hymn books were published:
A collection of one hundred eighty-four hymns. Most of the hymns were selected by Brother Nee out of over ten thousand hymns, songs, and poems, and were translated by him with some improvements and adjustments. A few were written by him, and one was written by Ruth Lee. Originally, it was called Hymns for the Little Flock. Later, this name was dropped because people used it to designate us as the Church of the Little Flock. The contents were classified as follows: words of praise, joy of salvation, springs of the valley of Baca, union with Christ, growth in grace, seeking in the spiritual pathway, consolation of the pilgrims, prayer meeting, consecration, spiritual warfare, the Holy Spirit, the work, general hymns, the praise of the sucklings, and the trumpet of the gospel.
A larger collection of 1,052 hymns compiled and composed by Watchman Nee with the cooperation of some brothers.
- Gospel Songs:
A collection of one hundred songs and hymns compiled and composed by Witness Lee.
Source: Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age, by Witness Lee, pp.251-263