The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

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The character or nature of the kingdom people is revealed in Matthew 5:1-12. We may also say this is the element or substance or essence of the children of the kingdom. I prefer to use character because it is not just a matter of essence or element. There is something substantial being expressed. Character means something more than mere nature. It means something of the nature that comes out and is expressed. The character of the children of the kingdom is under the ruling of the heavens. It is not under any earthly ruling. It is not under the ruling of the family, of the school, of the police station, or of the law court; nor is it under the ruling of anything else in the community. It is under the ruling of the heavens. The kingdom of the heavens really means the ruling of the heavens.

We must realize that from the time man fell, he began to be under an earthly ruling. After his fall man started to lose God’s rule from the heavens. Today all the worldly people, regardless of their status, regardless of their standards, and regardless of whether they are good or bad, are under a kind of earthly ruling. They are ruled either by their family, by their school, by their corporation, or by their municipal government. This is the earthly ruling.

But the time came for God to establish His kingdom on the earth. His kingdom is another category of ruling, which belongs to the heavens. Although it is on the earth, its ruling is from the heavens, so it is called the kingdom of the heavens. The ruling on the earth comes from the heavens where God dwells. It is not just the kingdom of God in a general way, but the kingdom of the heavens in a specific way. The heavens have come down to rule over the earth. Under this kind of ruling we who are the children of the kingdom have a specific nature and character. Our character, our essence, our element, and our nature with all its expression are altogether different from the people who are under the worldly, earthly ruling. The children of the kingdom have their own unique character and nature.

The character of the kingdom people under the ruling of the heavens is composed mainly of six inward conditions related to their heart and spirit and also to three outward items. Altogether there are nine items. Therefore, the Lord repeated the words "blessed are they" nine times. The six items of the inward condition begin with the first condition in the spirit and end with the sixth condition in the heart. This means that if we want to realize the proper kingdom life, we need a proper spirit and a proper heart. We need to know our spirit and to know our heart. We need to adjust and to attune both our spirit and our heart.

(The Kingdom, Chapter 32, by Witness Lee)