The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

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If we are poor in spirit, surely we will mourn. We will feel sad and sorrowful for the poor situation among God’s people and even for our own condition. The situation among God’s people today is really worthy of mourning. Peter, John, and the other Apostles surely needed to mourn because of the poor situation among the Pharisees and Judaizers. For the kingdom life we also need to mourn. We need to mourn concerning ourselves, our society, and today’s Christianity. When we look at Christ we are happy and rejoicing, but when we look at ourselves and others around us, we have to mourn. Sometimes in my room I have been rejoicing with the Lord, but at other times I have been mourning for the fundamental, Pentecostal, and charismatic Christians. By reading the Christian papers you can see that the situation is pitiful. If you look at the Lord and the church it is really wonderful. But outside of the church, in formal Christianity, fundamental Christianity, Pentecostal Christianity, and even charismatic Christianity, it is a poor situation. So we have to mourn. This is the second of the inward conditions.


Matthew 5:5 says, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." If we are sorrowful and mourning, we will surely be meek. We will not be proud but meek. We will be willing to suffer and even happy to lose something. To be meek not only means to be humble and lowly, but also to be willing to suffer and to lose something. If we are willing to suffer and are happy to lose something we will receive a reward—the inheritance of the earth. When the manifestation of the kingdom comes, some will inherit the earth. According to Luke 19 some will inherit ten cities and others five cities. We must be the meek people. We must be poor in spirit, we must mourn for the present situation, and then we must be meek, humble, lowly, willing to suffer, and happy to lose something.


We should not only seek after righteousness, but be hungry and thirsty for righteousness. We must be anxious and desirous to be right with God and to be right with man according to God. We must be right, not merely according to man’s regulations and man’s principles, nor according to man’s hopes and expectations, nor according to our own concepts and philosophy, but according to God. To have righteousness is to be right with God and right with man according to God. We have to be hungry and thirsty for such a righteousness. This relates to our motives. In our spirit and in our heart, in our inward being, we have to be right with God and right with others according to God.


Matthew 5:7 says, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." To be right or to seek and hunger after righteousness means to be strict with ourselves. But to be merciful is to be lenient toward others. We may be right with God and right with other people according to God. But perhaps others are not right. Rather, they are very loose. Should we condemn them? No, we must have mercy upon them. If we will show mercy toward others, we will receive mercy from God. But if we are strict toward others, God will also be strict with us. We must learn to be strict with ourselves but kind toward others. We should never measure others by ourselves as a standard. We should not require others to be according to our standard. If we do this, it means we have no mercy; instead we are legal. Let us learn to be strict, demanding much of ourselves, but kind toward others without demanding anything. This is what it means to be merciful.

(The Kingdom, Chapter 32, by Witness Lee)