Notes 74-81 - Expansion of Brother Dong's Claimed Commission

74 Brother Dong Claims That Brother Lee Personally Sent Him to Brazil

Dong Yu Lan, from a message given in a National Conference in Bogota, Colombia, April 2005:

In the years of 1958 and 1959, Brother Lee talked to us about some countries in the West that sent missionaries to the East, including China. Nevertheless, there was no church reality in those countries. He made a call to some brothers who would like to go to the West and to make known the church life. I offered myself to go. Then, Brother Lee sent me to Brazil. There, we started to meet with some Chinese brothers, specifically, in the city of São Paulo.

(Concerning Brother Dong's claim that Brother Lee sent him to Brazil, see note 79 below.) The implication of Brother Dong's claim is that he had some sort of special commission from Brother Lee related to South America. Actually, Brother Lee called for the saints in the Far East to migrate to the West for the Lord's recovery, and Dong Yu Lan was just one of many saints who responded. He went not as a worker but as a businessman (see notes 1 and 3).

75 Brother Dong Claims That the Work in South America Is His

Dong Yu Lan, National Conference in San Bernardo, Chile, April 4, 2009, Message 1:

Recently, the co-workers from the United States came here to have a conference. If Brother Lee was still alive, they would not dare to come, because Brother Lee already commissioned the entire work of South America to me. This can be confirmed by the testimony of Benson Phillips, a coworker in Anaheim, in the States, that Brother Lee commissioned the work of South America, the work of the Spanish-speaking world, to Brother Dong.

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Dong Yu Lan, National Conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia, April 12, 2009, Message 5:

When Brother Lee was still among us, he once told these American co-workers, "Brazil and South America is Brother Dong's work. He is doing the work by the leading of the Holy Spirit, the local needs, and his burden. Therefore, do not bring many doctrines to South America." Now that Brother Lee has passed away, it is as if there was no king among the children of Israel. Everybody is a king. There are more and more ambitious people.

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Statement from Fernando Monte-Serrat, October 26, 2007:

Although in the beginning Brother Dong used to say that he was not a worker, that he didn't know how to speak and how to work, and that he went to Brazil as a businessman, today he preaches that he was sent by Brother Lee to do the work in South America. This claim is used to strengthen his authority as the "apostle" in South America. I have seen a considerable change in his person, in his acts, and in his discourse over the years.

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Letter from Brother Dong's co-workers to 21 co-workers, June 20, 2005:

We the co-workers in South America can testify that Brother Dong is a person who has been commissioned by the Holy Spirit to carry out God's New Testament economy in this continent.

Statement from Giulianno Capillo, October 20, 2004:

That night, Brother Dong spoke badly concerning the American brothers, saying that in the United States he was judged as rebellious. He clearly made known that if anyone would like to be visited by the Americans brothers, we needed to consult him first because Brother Dong was giving the orientation in South America.

Regarding the truth concerning Brother Dong's going to Brazil, see notes 1-10 and 13.

76 Brother Dong Claims That the Work in the Spanish-speaking World Is His

Letter from Dong Yu Lan to a brother, October 24, 2002:

In his letter to Sterling, André Dong also mentioned the Lord's commission to me for the work in the Spanish-speaking world...

Dong Yu Lan, International Conference at Estância Árvore da Vida, February 2007, Message 11:

One time two US co-workers, John Ingalls and Benson Phillips, wanted to go to Guatemala to preach the gospel. They had the burden to go and had already found their translators. At that time Brother Lee was in Taiwan leading the training. When he heard about this, he made a long distance call to me, saying, "Brother Dong, two American co-workers are going there to work. The Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking work has been entrusted to you by the Lord. It should be you going there to preach the gospel."

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Dong Yu Lan, Conference in Belo Horizonte, March 29, 2009:

But according to Brother Lee, the Spanish work should be under me.

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Dong Yu Lan, National Conference in San Bernardo, Chile, April 4, 2009, Message 1:

If Brother Lee was still alive, they would not dare to come, because Brother Lee already commissioned the entire work of South America to me. This can be confirmed by the testimony of Benson Phillips, a coworker in Anaheim, in the States, that Brother Lee commissioned the work of South America, the work of the Spanish-speaking world, to Brother Dong.

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Dong Yu Lan, Conference in London, Canada, October 14, 2007, Question and Answer Session:

In the beginning, Witness Lee had entrusted me with all the Spanish-speaking countries and all the Americas.

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77 Brother Dong Claims That the Work in the Latin-speaking World Is His

Miguel Ma, Conference in Uberlandia, Brazil, June 2, 2007:

There were three great groups of co-workers, the co-workers from South America responsible for the Latin languages, the co-workers from North America responsible for the Anglo-Saxons languages, and the co-workers from the Far East responsible for the Asian languages.

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Dong Yu Lan, Regional Conference in São Paulo, Brazil, August 24, 2008, Message 2:

All the Latin-language-speaking countries in Europe have been commissioned to us by the Lord for our work. Thank the Lord. We have also been spreading and propagating. For example, how many churches are there in Spain? Four?

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Dong Yu Lan, Conference in London, Canada, October 14, 2007, Question and Answer Session:

Brother Lee charged me for the work only in the Latin languages. So Brother Lee made very clear there is a work in the Chinese-speaking world, the English-speaking world, and the Latin languages, the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries.

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Dong Yu Lan, August 24, 2008, in São Paulo:

All the Latin-language-speaking countries in Europe have been commissioned to us by the Lord for our work.

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Dong Yu Lan, International Conference at Estância Árvore da Vida, September 7, 2008, Message 4:

I received the calling that is in Genesis 1:28. Praise the Lord. We should be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. We need to beget and also to take care; we need to fill all the earth. At least the area [lit., system] of Latin languages is our responsibility given by the Lord and we need to fulfill it.

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Dong Yu Lan, International Conference at Estância Árvore da Vida, September 7, 2008, Message 4:

When the Lord Jesus was crucified, in the world at that time there were three languages. He as the King of the Jews was written in three languages: one language is Greek, another one is Hebrew, and another one is Latin, because in that era there were only three main languages in the world around the Mediterranean Sea. But the world of today has grown and become larger and has now become the entire earth. But according to language there are also today three main languages. Systems of main languages. The system of the English language—that comes from the Anglo-Saxon one. And it has the Chinese language, that represents, or that I included all the oriental languages, which are derived from the Chinese language. And we here are speaking Portuguese and Spanish—what system of languages are those? Latin, Latin language. Then the Lord did not charge us with the places of the English or Anglo-Saxon system of languages. The Lord did not give the system of the Chinese language for us. In spite of being Chinese (I speak Chinese), my sphere of work is the Latin language, because the Lord did not entrust me to work in the world of the Chinese language system. Instead the Lord has given us the responsibility for the system of Latin languages, that we should fill the earth. Hallelujah!

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78 Brother Dong Claims That His Work Should Expand to the Whole Earth

Dong Yu Lan, Conference in Rio de Janeiro, April 6, 2008, Message 2:

We need to propagate the present truth. The truth has already been spoken, but it also needs to be printed. The spoken truth can only reach a thousand people at once, but the printed truth can be brought to every place. So, before the Lord comes and the end comes, in the times that 2 Peter describes, we must pick up the burden to propagate the present truth, the printed truth, to the whole earth. I hope that the present truth will be heard in every city.

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Dong Yu Lan, Daily Food: Practicing the Book of Acts, Week 8, Lord's Day:

God's eternal will is that we go out to preach the gospel and fill the earth, not only in Brazil and South America, but also in Europe, Africa, North America and Asia. This is God's will and we need to receive the Lord's burden in order to accomplish His will by preaching the gospel of the kingdom in every place as His witnesses.

Testimony dated March 30, 2008, of a couple who moved to Brazil in 2006 (Note: Although Brother Dong is referred to here as "the apostle to South America," he is also called Brother Lee's "successor," which would have a much broader scope):

Right after we arrived, we found the church and began attending their group meetings and table meeting, but we always felt very little enjoyment and flow in our spirit (Not because of the language barrier). In July, 2007, the Brazilian co-workers came to visit us. The following is the conversation we had:

Brother Dong's Co-workers: Do you affirm that Brother Dong is the apostle to South America?

We: We bear only one testimony in the Body; does it matter who is the apostle?

Brother Dong's Co-workers: Of course it does; because those who have gone out from us only acknowledge Brother Lee as the apostle. Yes, he is; but he has slept in the Lord, and Brother Dong is his successor. Even Brother Lee himself acknowledged this when he was still with us. If not, Brother Lee would have clarified it. This shows that Brother Lee actually assented to this.

The concept of a "successor" in the ministry is errant. There is no such thing in the New Testament. As Brother Lee stated in Practical Talks to the Elders: "[A]ccording to the New Testament, there is no human successor to the workers or to the elders" (p. 78). The co-workers in Taiwan reported that on two occasions Brother Lee told them definitely that in the ministry in the Lord's recovery there was no such thing as succession (Simpson Chen, notes from fellowship with Brother Lee, October 1988 and October 1990).

79Dong Yu Lan Claims That Witness Lee Gave Him the Work in South America

Letter to Jorge Navas from Pedro Dong, Salomon Ma, and Helcio Almeida, December 13, 2004:

Brother Dong was designated specifically by Brother Witness Lee to care for the churches in South America; he has endeavored to carry out this commission faithfully, leading the churches in the line of the spirit and life.

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Dong Yu Lan, National Conference in San Bernardo, Chile, April 4, 2009, Message 1:

If Brother Lee was still alive, they would not dare to come, because Brother Lee already commissioned the entire work of South America to me. This can be confirmed by the testimony of Benson Phillips, a coworker in Anaheim, in the States, that Brother Lee commissioned the work of South America, the work of the Spanish-speaking world, to Brother Dong.

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Dong Yu Lan, in a meeting with some co-workers in Cerritos, California, February 18, 2008:

Andrew Yu knows that Brother Lee entrusted the work in South America to me.

Interview with Albert Lim, October 21, 2007:

They claimed that Brother Dong had been commissioned by Brother Lee for South America and that Lee Daw-Jiueng had not been sent by Brother Lee.

See note 80 for statements from Andrew Yu and Albert Lim that contradict Dong Yu Lan's claims.

80 Witness Lee Did Not Give Dong Yu Lan the Work in South America

Interview with Albert Lim, October 21, 2007:

I knew that Brother Dong had not been sent or commissioned by Brother Lee for South America, but that he had sent Lee Daw-Jiueng as a co-worker to Paraguay.

Interview with Andrew Yu, October 22, 2007:

Brother Lee never said that the entire South America belongs to Dong Yu Lan. The proof of this is the work in Paraguay, which was begun separately from Dong Yu Lan. Stephen Hou, who is now in Walnut, California, knows the story and was involved. Paraguay started through the Taiwanese ambassador to Paraguay and his wife, a very zealous sister from Taipei. This was in the 1980s. This couple saw many Chinese seekers in Paraguay. They called Brother Lee and asked for someone to help. Brother Lee sent Stephen Hou, a young co-worker in Taipei, to Paraguay to work full time there. Stephen Hou was very diligent and the work began well. Then, Dong Yu Lan had some issues with the work in Paraguay; these were really petty things.

Fellowship between Witness Lee, Dong Yu Lan, Lee Daw-Jieung and others, July 7, 1991:

Do not give people an impression that you are the overseer of the churches in Brazil and Argentina; they have to ask your permission in everything.

Fellowship between Witness Lee, Dong Yu Lan, Lee Daw-Jieung and others, July 7, 1991:

[Witness Lee telling Brother Dong what his attitude as a worker should be:] Today I am a servant of the Lord. I received the grace of the Lord to labor in Brazil and have gained some good results. Now I am invited to Argentina to speak, then I go. If they want to meet as a church, I... I only know that I am not the apostle of Argentina, nor do I want to have a deep relationship with the churches in Argentina. Then all these problems won't happen.

81 Dong Yu Lan Proposes to Divide the Earth into Three Regions of Work

Interview with Dan Towle, January 31, 2008:

Benson [Phillips] and Ron [Kangas] came home from a meeting with Brother Dong where Brother Dong proposed cutting up the work in the Lord's recovery into three pieces—the English language, the Spanish language, and the Chinese language—and that he would be in charge of the Spanish language work, Paul Wu would be in charge of the Chinese language work, and Benson would be in charge of English language work. After that, I said there is no hope.