The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

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The first item of the inward condition is in Matthew 5:3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens." The first basic condition is related to our spirit, which is the very place where God can dwell. Our spirit is the organ within us created by God for us to contact Him, to take Him in, to receive Him, and to contain Him. Many Christians have missed this first condition. They miss the first organ for the kingdom life, the human spirit. Many Christians have never heard anything concerning the human spirit. This is poor and pitiful! To teach people to contact God without using their spirit is like trying to train people to run without using their feet.

To be poor in our spirit means to empty all the things other than God out of our spirit. We all have to empty our spirit. Our spirit is only for God. This means we have to empty out everything else that may be within our spirit. We need to be empty in our spirit for God. Unfortunately, most of us have something other than God filling our spirit. Don’t think that your knowledge remains only in your mind. Through your mind, your knowledge can enter into your spirit and occupy it. Don’t think that your hatred remains only in your heart. The hatred can also enter into your spirit and occupy it. Don’t think your human, natural, fleshly love remains only in your emotion. It too can get into your spirit and occupy it. Then your spirit will be filled up with knowledge, hatred, or love. Once your spirit is filled up, there is no room left for God.

When the kingdom comes, we need to be empty and poor in our spirit, so that we can take God into us. This, however, does not mean to have a poor spirit. Do not have a poor spirit, but be poor in your spirit. This means to have nothing in your spirit except God. When the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, and high priests came to the Lord Jesus, they were all filled up in their spirit with all kinds of junk which they regarded as treasures. Their traditions, their religion, their rituals, their scriptural knowledge, their forms, and all their old religious Jewish practices had become so much junk filling up their spirit. Furthermore, their concepts and philosophical reasonings were filling up and occupying their spirit. They were completely filled up with all these things. When they came to the Lord Jesus they argued with Him because they were not poor in spirit. Therefore, in the opening word of His discourse on the mountain, the Lord said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens." If we are poor in our spirit, God can immediately come into us. We will then be in the kingdom of the heavens. This is the first condition of our inward parts. Our spirit has to be emptied. Don’t keep any knowledge, tradition, form, religion, or anything else other than God in your spirit. Let your spirit be emptied of other things and be absolutely and fully for God. This is what we need. Don’t allow all the knowledge and the things you received from Christianity to occupy your spirit. They need to be emptied out. They may seem to be quite good, but compared to the Lord Jesus they are dung. In Philippians 3 Paul said that he counted all of his previous attainments and knowledge as dung or refuse. He counted all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord. Let us also be empty and poor in spirit on account of Christ.

(The Kingdom, Chapter 32, by Witness Lee)