In the December 2023 issue of “Having This Ministry…” we presented the third part of our interview with Brother Ron Kangas concerning the history of the Life-study publication work. In this issue we present the fourth and final part of that interview.
Question: When Brother Lee spoke to the Living Stream Ministry office serving ones on Thursdays following the Wednesday night Life-study messages [see part 3 of this interview], did he speak for a long time or only a short time?
Brother Ron: He usually spoke from between forty-five minutes to an hour, so sometimes that speaking had to become another message in the Life-study. It was too much to combine with the message from the night before. Those times were weekly because the more he spoke, the more light he received.
A few times when Brother Lee spoke, he said that giving the message was like playing music to cows. I was one of those cows. Here is the impression that word left on me: Brother Lee could see way beyond our condition at the time he was speaking. He knew that it might take twenty to thirty years for his speaking to penetrate. I really appreciated that he was not just expecting some instant excitement. When I returned to Anaheim in 1994, Brother Lee was giving crystallization-study messages. One time after he gave a message, he said, “Now, Ron, give a confirming word.” He also did this to Brother Ed. He wanted his word to be confirmed, not by me or Ed necessarily but because he wanted to have the sense that his word was really penetrating. It was quite an honor to be with him.
This is just a sidebar comment. Brother Lee gave a message in an informal training with the church in Anaheim on the matter of disposition in approximately 1975. It was a very weighty message. The Lord as the Shepherd of my soul was moving in me to deal with my disposition. One morning while I was shaving, I had the leading from the Lord to call Brother Lee to ask if I could have a time of fellowship with him. I called him, and I am so glad I did. He told me when he could be available. Times with him were very brief. This one was about five to seven minutes. He never wasted a word or time. When we met, we sat down, and he asked what I would like him to do. I said, “Brother Lee, will you please touch and deal with my disposition?” He said that our working together gave him the opportunity to do this. He said, “The Lord will gain us,” and he added, “I will do it.” I can testify to you that he did it. He did his part, but he knew he could not do God’s part. That was the spiritual father and spiritual son relationship in our service together. I have no regrets that he did some of that touching and dealing openly. He even did it in the office meetings, where he knew the sisters in particular would be shocked. He said, “Don’t worry. Ron won’t be offended,” and I was not.
We are not exalting anyone. It is important to recognize that the Lord used Martin Luther to begin the recovery, but the result was Lutheranism with people being “Luther-ites.” Then there were John Calvin and “Calvin-ites” and John Wesley and Wesleyans. We are standing on the shoulders of the ministry of the age, and we will continue to do so according to our measure; however, we do not exalt anyone.
Brother Lee said that he had provided all the “groceries,” referring to his messages, and that we must use these “groceries” to prepare the food. This is what we have been endeavoring to do since 1997. You do not invite saints over to your home for a meal and say, “Look at all the groceries we have.” No, the groceries have to go through a process. Brother Lee also said that it was his function to open the “mine” of every book in the Bible. He said that he had opened it up and had gone down and traced the gold and that we should continue pressing down into the mine in a way that is nothing apart but something upon. Therefore, when ones read the ministry publications, they have the inner sense and realization, as many seekers do, that there is no self-pride here, that this is something pure and faithful for the glory of God.
Question: Brother Ron, how many messages did you typically edit per week?
Answer: Brother Lee started out giving two messages per week, so I was editing two messages each week. At that time, I also did practical things for Brother Lee for a day and a half because it was only him and me for a while. In time, I realized that we needed someone who could take care of more of the practical things, but I did not mention that to Brother Lee. As things were advancing, he began to have the semiannual trainings and the Wednesday night ministry meetings, so I was editing four messages per week. It occupied my full time. I went from editing two messages per week to editing four messages per week for the last fifteen years that he was with us. So, the ox just kept grinding, going around and around, and was not muzzled.
Looking ahead, we know that once the Temple Mount is cleared in Jerusalem and the Orthodox Jews are about to rebuild the Temple, the only way they can do it is to make a covenant with a powerful European leader who will turn out to be the Antichrist. That covenant will signal the beginning of the seventieth week of Daniel’s seventy weeks. Then after three and a half years, the living overcomers will be raptured. The vast majority of the believers will be on the earth until the end of this age, and then the Lord will descend on the cloud just above the earth, and they will all be raptured. I sincerely believe that during those three and a half years, people all over the earth are going to read the Life-study messages and the Recovery Version with the footnotes. They are going to realize that there is nothing else that will help them. They might go to some of the dear believers in the churches that are still here to ask how the matured saints were made ready. They may reply, “They pursued the Lord for years, and this ministry enabled them to pursue the Lord and to grow in life to maturity for the sake of the Body.” They may also say, “The matured ones went through all the stages of the growth in life, but we are still here because we did not do it; however, we are surely going to do it now.” I do not want to do it then; I want to do it now, don’t you?