The Thread of Gold
|Feedback: From Those Currently in the Local Church
|[This feedback is interspersed with comments by Jane in italics. Because of concern for
retribution, responders names and locations are not shown.]
Dear Sister Jane,
I received your book this week and began reading it. I was planning to email you after
reading the entire book but last night I was puzzled about chapter 13 on Daystar. I have
been in the church life since November 1973. There are a number of things that led up to
ordering your book of which I would like to address later. In brief, I have been seeking the
Lord since 1998 for answers that have not yet become clear to me. I hope that through your
book with much prayer and fellowship with the Lord I will come to understand the things
that concern me. I also hope that your fellowship will be of some help.
As of now I have not voiced any of my concerns to the leading Brothers or the saints in the
church. For the most part I enjoy the church life and my service in the Body (which includes
caring for a good number of Believers outside the local church). But my concerns have
caused me to ask the Lord many questions about the local church and Lord’s Recovery
movement. The history of the church has always been of interest to me so I have also been
studying the other side of our history since 1998 and have just recently made contact with a
few who are no longer meeting with us.
What I want to ask you now is concerning Daystar. I knew nothing about Daystar when I
came into the church life. I understand that it was history at the time I came into the local
church but your book gave a different impression on page 195 (John and I decided to invest
a fourth of the money he had inherited from his mother). The testimony in your book is
chorological and in an earlier chapter you mentioned Brother Lee’s right hand man, Max
Rapoport, coming on the scene (that must have been from 1974-1977) and the Galilean
fisherman flow that was in 1977. I am confused because I thought Daystar went bankrupt
before 1973. A few years ago a brother in one of the churches in Texas told me that Max
helped Brother Lee get out of that situation. He said that after helping Brother Lee he was
brought into leadership and the Ministry. I assumed that it was Max that asked the saints to
release Brother Lee. Can you clarify all of this with me? I am reading your book with an
open heart in fellowship with the Lord but this point troubles me. I look forward to hearing
The following is part of our reply to the question about the dates related to the mention of
Daystar in the book:
Thank you for your email. My husband and I just finished discussing it and the questions
you asked. First, let me say that in our discussion we uncovered the problem with what is in
chapter 13 about the inheritance money. John remembered that he had actually asked his
mother for a loan (so we could invest) without telling her what it was for. She answered his
request by giving him the money, after he agreed that it would be taken out of his
inheritance. When writing the book, I remembered that the money was part of his
inheritance, but wrongly concluded from this memory that we had given it to Daystar after
we received the inheritance in 1977. We probably missed the timing discrepancy because
the dates related to Daystar were not that significant to us. The main point I was seeking to
make by including a little about Daystar was that we were also being hurt financially. In the
disclaimer to the book we state that all dates are accurate to the best of our ability. We are
very open to any information that helps us improve the accuracy of the dates in our book.
This matter will be corrected in future editions of the book, if there are any. We are sorry for
any confusion this error may have caused you, and we thank you for bringing it to our
I also looked in our attic to see if I could find old bank statements that might have a record
of the date we gave the money, but could not find paperwork that far back. I can, however,
give you a little more information about the timing of Daystar that may be helpful to you. A
few weeks ago, I came across a website on the internet which contains a picture of an
actual Daystar motor home (in serious need of a paint job) and some information about it.
According to the website, the Daystar pictured was built in 1975 and was #16 of the 16 that
were built. If the owner of the vehicle is accurate about the year it was built, this would
indicate that Daystar was not bankrupt before 1973. When I found this website (after the
book was in print), I was puzzled by the date of 1975 because I had written that we had
contributed in 1977. Your question and my husband’s subsequent recollection have now
cleared up that puzzlement for me. We still don’t know exactly when we invested, but it
seems apparent now that it was not in 1977.
I have no clear memory as to when we were told that Daystar had failed and that we needed
to forgive Brother Lee and free him from any sense of obligation. As for Max Rapoport’s
involvement with Brother Lee and Daystar, I don’t know anything about that firsthand. To the
best of my memory, as I wrote, Max was on the scene in the young Galileans period of time.
I also know that he and his wife, Sandy, were in the forefront of things for about a year after I
was disciplined in the spring of 1977 because of memories I have about the “sisters’ flow.”
It was the leading brothers in Houston who asked us to forgive Brother Lee.
Dear Sister Jane,
During the Thanksgiving conference Brother Benson mentioned that he was reading a
book by a sister that used to be a good Sister in the church. He said that she lost
everything. I just finished the 2006 Winter Training on video and took notes on what he said
in message 11 on “Discerning the Destroyers of the Divine Building to Remain in the Lord’
s Recovery of the Divine Building.” Here is the outline and my notes on what he said about
Outline on Message 11 of The Building of God
2006 Winter Training (LSM)
V. The destroyers of the divine building are those who are factious, sectarian—Titus 3:10:
A. A factious man is a heretical, sectarian man who causes divisions by forming parties in
the church according to his own opinions; in order to maintain good order in the church, a
factious, divisive person should be refused, rejected, after a first and second admonition.
B. Because such divisiveness is contagious, this rejection is for the church’s profit that
contact with the divisive one may be stopped—cf. Num. 6:6-7.
Notes on Benson’s message:
1987 (must have been 1977) we had a situation on the west coast building up a
group around themselves. Then it (the same flow) spread to Texas. Because it
happened, we Brothers had to do something. Brother Lee in a conference on the
Kingdom was so distraught and grieved said to three Sisters to stand up. Brother
Lee didn’t mess with factious ones. He asked them a question. Then in Texas they
had their party built up in the church. To form a group around yourself keeps others
out. The one Sister—the leader we had to deal with. She just came out with a book
against the Recovery. If she can write a book today that was a seed in her then. They
had to be dealt with because they are destroyers of the divine building.
Did you realize this was the reason you were disciplined in the church? Can you give me
more details about it? From your book I got the impression that what was going on in Texas
was unrelated to the west coast but BP said it came from the west coast. During the
second training on the book of Revelation I stayed with a family that was in that so-called
flow. The husband’s name was ______ but I cannot remember the name of his wife. She
was a dear Sister and I enjoyed my stay with them. They shared a lot with me about what
they were enjoying from the Ministry of WL and Andrew Murray’s “The Spirit of Christ.”
______ had left the Recovery and his wife but had come back and was revived by that flow.
My impression was that it did not come directly from WL but Max and his wife seemed to be
more instrumental in it. From what I remember WL thought the Sisters were exclusive and
he tried to encourage them not to sit together in the meetings but to sit with other Sisters to
care for them. After my stay with this family I went back home with a fresh anointing of the
Lord and was very encouraged; I kept in touch with them for a while by phone.
Because this was a part of my history and I am seeking the Lord for spiritual discernment I
look forward to hearing from you.
For further information about the question posed in the above email see http://thebereans.
Someone who heard the book mentioned at a Thanksgiving Local Church conference sent
me the following transcript:
Attached is a copy of the outline of BP’s sharing. He was on II C 2. After saying that natural
affection will become rottenness in the church he gave this testimony about you and your
book. It is an exact copy from the tape:
I was looking at a book the other day and in this book this sister gives her life’s story. Well,
she was a good sister at one time. Then eventually she was defeated by the enemy
because of her natural affection toward other sisters and she lost everything. Brothers, in
the church life we don’t have any natural affection—we don’t have friends; not friends
naturally, but everything must be in the Spirit. [emphasis added]
Someone whom I told about this comment wrote me the following:
Note BP said, “…in the church life we don’t have any natural affection”? In saying this, he
puts himself and others in the same category as those Paul mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of
their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent,
fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures
more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from
such turn away.
I am ______ and I was put in touch with you by ______ through ______. I am very
interested in reading your book. I have been in the recovery since the early 1990s …. There
are some things in the church life that worry me. Especially the extreme elevation of Brother
Lee's ministry and a change of focus from Christ to the ministry. I believe you had the same
realization in the past, so I would really appreciate your experience….
At present I am quite confused. On the one hand I can't deny that I have received a lot of
help from Br. Lee's ministry. On the other hand I can't accept the direction the recovery is
taking. My heart is full of pain. I gave half of my life to the recovery, and I never thought that I
would find myself in the present condition. There are many saints I am attached to, and
sometimes I just want to hide my head in the sand. In the present situation, your own
experience may be of great help to me.
May the Lord bless you richly,
Later this person wrote:
I am sorry for this late reply. As I promised I would like to share some of my impressions
from your book. One thing that I liked the most is the absence of bitterness in your book. It is
very valuable when we are mistreated by our fellow believers that we do not hold bitterness
against them. So I really appreciated that.
It was also very interesting for me to compare the church life at your time with what we have
now. I did not experience many of the negative things that you described in your book like
burnings, pan banging, no make up, plain dress. I also did not have such a tight schedule
in the church. But many of the things you describe explain the problems we encounter
today. The root problem is the elevation of one man ministry and making it the factor of
group unity. This process has almost reached its climax now. Take the one publication for
The part where you analyze the teachings of Witness Lee I enjoyed less. I feel that you are
inclined to over-simplification of certain issues. If you want, I can touch upon it in more
detail in the future. You have some very valuable points though, like the lack of proper family
I really treasure your experience. I very much enjoyed the opportunity to look at the Local
Church through the eyes of a sister. I also very much enjoyed all the hymns that you placed
in your book.
I would like to ask you to tell me more about the Daystar case. That is a missing piece in
the history of the Local Church. I would very much welcome your input.
I close this letter with prayer for you and your family.
May the Lord bless you richly,
This person also wrote:
…. By the way, Dan Williams mentioned your book at the last Winter Training (of course, he
did not mention your name). Whatever regrets he had for dealing with you harshly in the
past, he dismissed them now. He said that they had dealt with you rightly, because if you
were able to write the book against the recovery now, you must have had the seed of it then.
I am sorry to tell you such unpleasant things. This brother did not read your book and still
had liberty to judge you. He had no thought that he himself planted the seed and watered it.
But I am happy that this seed, nonetheless, by the Lord's mercy produced sweet fruit. Your
book doesn't have any bitterness. So it is not against the recovery, it is for the recovery. It
recovers many wounded souls.
May the Lord bless you richly,
This person later wrote again:
Thank you for your fellowship. How mutual enriching the fellowship is! Praise the Lord for
calling us into the fellowship of His Son!
I liked the story in your book where you told the Lord that you loved that chair. For a long time
I have felt that the main problem of many saints today is that they are not sincere before the
Lord. Real fellowship with the Lord depends on how honest, frank and open we are before
Him. Of course, He sees our heart and we can hide nothing from Him. But our fellowship
with the Lord depends upon the condition of our heart. The growth of life is impossible if our
heart is improper (Matt.13). That’s why we should always pay attention to our daily life. It is
easy to be “spiritual” in the meetings. But much of that spirituality is just hypocrisy. And the
remedy is just to admit that we are hypocrites. It is the cure. O, may the Lord be merciful to
us, so that we would see our real situation before the Lord. One of the church fathers said
that Christian perfection is an increasing knowledge of our imperfection.
I have one question. At the last winter training Benson told the story how Brother Lee openly
had dealt with three “holy” sisters at one of his trainings. Were you present at that meeting?
Can you tell me the details?
Be blessed, dear sister,
….Some time ago I came across one verse (1 Sam. 22:2)--"And every one that was in
distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered
themselves unto him (David); and he became a captain over them". Those people in
distress, in debt etc. suffered from Saul (misuse of authority), but this brought them to David
(Christ). And eventually they became his mighty men. God is Sovereign! It is wonderful to
see how the misuse of authority eventually turns us to the true authority -- Christ. I more and
more appreciate that I should submit to Christ only. I really liked that quote from Kennedy
you gave in your book. Christ is present in His church in person, so we do not need any
P. S. I am two years younger than Matt
Someone wrote and gave me a link to a Local Church discussion group on the Internet,
pointing me to the following post. I have italicized a very telling statement in which the writer
makes a statement that is false as if it was fact, and then proceeds to say that he has never
even read the book.
Now, the problem with the new book The Golden Thread (will not underline) is the author, a
sister, has had some bad experiences; and because of this, she concludes that the local
churches and Brother Lee are cultic. I have not read the book, but I read her page about the
book. I am not saying anything about her. But I can see clearly she lacked revelation. If one
is strongly rooted in revelation and the Lord Spirit and the Word, they would never say
anything against Brother Lee and the local churches. Yes, there may be saints in the
churches who are not walking in their spirit who may persecute others (but this is the case
in any setting in society where there is more than one person). But the ones who are
persecuted should not let it affect their full faithfulness in pursuing the Lord Spirit, the Word
and the ministry. This is where spiritual warfare takes place. The Lord said that the gates of
Hades shall not prevail against the builded church. The gates of Hades are continually
trying to prevail against us. Satan will often use certain saints who are open to his lies to
persecute other saints. The saints who are persecuted do not realize the assault is from
the enemy, so they open themselves to the attack when they think it is from the saint. They
then, become weakened and offended, and in return persecute the saints. Any negative
thought you receive about any saint, you must not accept. Satan will use whomever he can
to weaken and damage the saints. In the case of this sister who wrote the book, she let
herself open to the lies of the enemy. Now, to be fair, many brothers too have opened
themselves to the lies of the enemy. We really have to be watchful. And I mean it if you have
divine revelation, you can never be moved by anything the enemy says.
Specifically, the opening of our mind to accusations, and lies is the gates of Hades in
action. That is why even we who are on the internet must keep speaking our portion of
Christ so that the building work will take place. The more we are built together, the enemy
will not be able to prevail. But he will continue to assail. But do not fear, we have the blood
of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony and we do not love our soul life (the home of the
gates of Hades) unto death.
Hallelujah!!! Satan is in the lake of fire. And that is all there is to it. Yes, Amen.
I am so faithful and strong and unmovable because I received a lot of revelation. Plus, I
have kept myself in the Lord Spirit, the Word and the ministry. And, also because I have
exercised my mind to think objectively. Watchman Nee said one of the things a person
should have when studying the Word is objectivity. There are a lot of believers who are
really subjective. They cannot differentiate between truth and falsehood. Truth is always
strengthened by divine revelation. It is too bad that we have to suffer a bunch of theological
dummies, who claim to be experts. I say this in all honesty. If they want to sue me, they can
have all my possessions. I do not care.
Although, we have to suffer all sorts of trials and persecutions, we cannot but REJOICE, for
we have Christ as the life-giving Spirit. And, Hallelujah, we do not have what the opposers
have, and they certainly do not have what we have. If they had what we had they would not
be persecuting us.
In my experience, persecutions just make me stronger. Satan can do whatever: I am still
one with the Lord. Yes, Amen. Praise the Lord. And, this is true for you too. The more
opposition against you, the stronger you will become. It is always a bad sign to be
welcomed. It is always better to not have the first seats. This way you will gain more Christ.
FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH
I read with interest your book The Thread of Gold. I have been in the local church since
January 1977. I was lead there by the Lord and still enjoy it. It does not mean I agree or
accept everything the elders, LSM or anyone else may say. We are told to try the spirits to
ascertain what is of God and what is of man. Throughout this time my wife, family took a
good vacation every year and gave our children Christmas presents. Of course I am labeled
as being "too independent" and not one with the body". However, it is irrelevant to me what
is said. There is no need to please man. We only answer to the Lord and what He tells or
approves for us to do.
I am a locality were Authority and Submission has been GREATLY emphasized, "Authority
is absolute, all must submit." (Yes I found it interesting that it was only half of Watchman
Nee's book. Although the recent publication is now complete.) My question for you is
whether the authoritarian elders you were under were Chinese or from the Far East? If so
would you mind sharing which ones? I wonder how much of that theology is just Easter
culture given that from my understanding their history shows:
1. They like to fight to have a region for control.
2. They do not like to submit to others.
3. Do not like for the leader to lose face.
4. Need to make the leader's plan work no matter how bad or what the cost.
5. Leaders will sacrifice the truth to save face.
Would you not agree with these?
I would point out that authority is balanced by the body. It is not absolute. Even God's
authority is balanced by righteousness. He is just not free to do whatever He wants!
May the Lord be with you and keep you in His grace till the day we meet Him!
God's Purpose, the Cross, and Me
A True Story