O Lord Three Times
The False Gospel of Witness Lee
On the one hand, when Recovery members preach the gospel to outsiders, they can and do preach the gospel according to the gospel of the Bible, which is the gospel. I can speak to this from personal experience.
But on the other hand, Recovery members sometimes preach a false gospel that cannot save. One of those false gospels is the “O Lord Three Times” gospel:
We have seen that to reach the unbelievers, no preaching is necessary. If we help them to say “O Lord” three times, they will be saved. If they open the window, the air will get in. All they have to do is to open their mouth and say, “O Lord, O Lord.” Even if they have no intention of believing, still they will be caught. Regardless of whether they have the intention or not, as long as they open the window, the air will get in.Witness Lee, The Seven Spirits for the Local Churches, Chapter 5, Section 2 (Emboldened Emphasis My Own)
This is a false gospel that cannot save. Since a false gospel does not come from the one true God, a false gospel does not serve God; it serves a false god; it serves nothing. The O Lord Three Times gospel has nothing to do with Jesus or God. To put His name on it is meaningless. It is a false gospel preached by Witness Lee, serving a god that doesn’t exist.
To be clear, here are my direct contentions with Witness Lee’s O Lord Three Times gospel:
- To reach unbelievers, preaching is essential (Romans 10:14).
- Saying “O Lord” three times for salvation is a made up idea.
- Confessing the Lord’s name (which is Jesus, not just “Lord”) must be paired with belief (Romans 10:9-12).
- Saying “O Lord” three times does not open some mystical window in unsaved people. Again, this is made up.
The Bible: Believe and Confess
Take a look at Romans 10:9-12
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.Romans 10:9-12 (ESV)
Romans 10:9 makes it clear that you will be saved if you do the following two things:
- Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and
- believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.
Romans 10:10 gives us the reason for those two things being qualifiers for being saved:
- The heart is the internal part of you with which you believe God raised Jesus from the dead and are thus justified and
- the mouth is the external part of you which you use to confess Jesus as Lord and are saved!
Then Romans 10:11-12, once again, talks about belief with the heart and confession with the mouth:
- Romans 10:11 talks about those who believe not being put to shame and
- Romans 10:12 talks about the Lord being the same Lord of all who call upon Him.
Finally, Romans 10:13 says:
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”Romans 10:13 (ESV)
If this last verse is taken out of context, someone might conclude that an unsaved person just needs to call Jesus’ name to be saved. But if you read the preceding verses, it’s obvious that calling on Jesus’ name is confessing His name, which is just one part of salvation.
The Bible: Preaching and Hearing Required
Romans 10:14 says the following:
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?Romans 10:14 (ESV)
Witness Lee’s O Lord Three Times gospel asserts that no preaching is necessary. The Bible asserts that it is:
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.Romans 10:17 (ESV)
The Bible tells us that faith comes from hearing through the word of Christ, that an unsaved person cannot believe until they’ve heard the gospel, that an unsaved person cannot hear the gospel unless someone preaches it.
Conclusion: O Lord Three Times is a False Gospel
Leading an unsaved person to say “O Lord” three times will do nothing. It has no biblical standing, and it is a false gospel that does not come from God. Unless the Recovery as a movement repents of this gospel, the O Lord Three Times false gospel of Witness Lee is just another heretical doctrine within the Recovery that proves it is a Christian cult.