O Lord Three Times – The False Gospel of Witness Lee

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:

  1. To reach unbelievers, preaching is essential (Romans 10:14).
  2. Saying “O Lord” three times for salvation is a made up idea.
  3. Confessing the Lord’s name (which is Jesus, not just “Lord”) must be paired with belief (Romans 10:9-12).
  4. 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:

  1. Confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and
  2. 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:

  1. The heart is the internal part of you with which you believe God raised Jesus from the dead and are thus justified and
  2. 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:

  1. Romans 10:11 talks about those who believe not being put to shame and
  2. 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.

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Wyatt
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Wyatt

Do not forget the gospel consists not only of belief, it REQUIRES repentance. I have never heard the Recovery preach repentance,

Priestly Scribe
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Wyatt, thanks for pointing out that BIG omission in TLR Doctrine – the need for Repentance should always be a part of the Gospel message. Ironically TLR leaders actually will reach for the “R” word whenever a current/former member is found to be in violation of their commonly accepted “Group Think” guidelines! Here is one recent example: https://youtu.be/m89Jgd7ghwo

Samuel
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Samuel

Amen. The gospel of easy-believism taught by the LC is dangerous. Along with repentance, someone’s faith has to persevere to the end to truly be saved (Matthew 24:13, Ezekiel 18:24, Hebrews 3:14, 2 Peter 2:20-22). From my own experience, I saw many in the LC from my own extended family lose their Christian faith and live like everyone else thinking they can still be saved after passing through 1000 year dispensational punishment. But actually, according to the bible, they were never saved to being with. If they knew what the bible truly teaches about salvation, some would actually try harder… Read more »

Robert Święcki
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Robert Święcki

I was there for over 20 years. You can see fruits on tree not after one day but after some period f time. I was honest and simply christian 30 years ago drawn by this ministry. The main idea they preach was unity of christians obove the division and different teaching. But after years I discovered that all this turned into simply cult. I know there is many honest brothers and sisters. But exactly this is how deceiving works. They offer techniques, practices and so called truths. They depersonifcated Lord Jesus and replaced Living God with other things. They do… Read more »

Stanley
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Stanley

Jacob, Your first quote from the book Seven Spirits is missing the context before and after. In that message, Witness Lee was talking about the work of the Seven Spirits of God and used an example of a SF hippy, who got saved during the meeting without being directly preached with any doctrines of gospel by anyone. The focus was on the wonderful work of the Seven Spirits rather than mere doctrines. I believe that the hippy must have heard the gospel about Jesus and his need to get saved during the Christian meeting he was in, without a particular… Read more »

Stanley
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Stanley

Jacob, maybe the below Christian Research Journal with the title “We Were Wrong” can help clarify or explain to some if not all of your misunderstanding about Lee’s ministry and the practices of the local churches in the Lord’s Recovery. http://www.equip.org/PDF/EnglishOpt.pdf Jacob, my sense toward your website is that you tend to selectively pick up some speaking by Witness Lee or a certain believer meeting in a local church that you don’t like or disagree to begin your accusations and attacks toward another Christian or Christian group. Your interpretation and thinking of what you read and watched in a video… Read more »

Poppy
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Poppy

Your comment just confirmed what Jacob is saying about TLR. Good job!
When I was in ftta, I felt uneasy about proselytizing on campus. It wasn’t about saving souls. The goal was always about numbers. I didn’t like that we were befriending people with the express purpose of growing the campus club or locality. It was wrong. I never expressed my doubts, believing that it had to be the right thing to do. Now I feel so guilty about thinking about all the young college students that I might have harmed.