The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

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The seed of mourning is sown in Matthew 5:4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Now let us read some verses which show the development of the seed of mourning. First is Acts 20:31: "Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." For Paul to warn the church with tears night and day indicates he was mourning for the condition of the church and the believers. Romans 9:2 says, "That I have great grief and unceasing pain in my heart." This verse shows Paul’s mourning for the people of Israel that they might be saved. He had great grief and unceasing pain in his heart because of them. Finally, 2 Corinthians 7:7 says, "And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more." This verse indicates that not only Paul, but also the Corinthians were mourning concerning a certain situation. Thus, the aspect of mourning is developed in the Epistles.


The third seed of the reality of the kingdom sown in Matthew is meekness. Matthew 5:5 says, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." Ephesians 4:2 develops the matter of meekness: "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love." This verse mentions not only meekness but also lowliness with longsuffering and bearing with one another in love. This is much more than simply meekness; it indicates some rich development. Titus 3:2 says, "To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men." The gentleness and the showing all meekness unto all men is a development of the meekness in Matthew 5:5. James 3:13 says, "Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom." These verses show a rich and full development of the seed of meekness which was sown in Matthew.


The seed of hungering and thirsting for righteousness is developed in 1 Timothy 6:11: "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." It is further developed in 2 Timothy 2:22: "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, love (lit.), peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."


The matter of showing mercy is developed in Romans 12:8b: "He who shows mercy, in cheerfulness." This verse indicates that even the showing of mercy is a gift. Many Christians have never considered this. From the context of Romans 12, showing mercy is listed as a gift along with teaching, leading, exhorting, and prophesying. In this chapter even the extending of hospitality to guests is a gift. Both showing mercy and giving hospitality are gifts. Finally, Colossians 3:12 says, "Put on therefore as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering."

(The Kingdom, Chapter 43, by Witness Lee)