The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

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One day the Lord Jesus told His disciples that some of them would not taste of death until they saw the Son of Man coming in His kingdom (Matt. 16:28). According to Mark, He said that some of those standing there would see the kingdom of God coming in power (9:1). Shortly after speaking these words, He went to the mountaintop and was transfigured there (Matt. 17:1-2). The transfiguration of the Lord Jesus was the realization of what He is. When He was confined in His flesh, people thought of Him as only a little man from Nazareth. The kingdom was in Him, but they could not see it. The kingdom was in Him just as electricity is in a building—unless the switch is turned on, no one can observe the electricity. Once the switch is turned on, the lamp will shine. This shining is simply the expression of electricity. The kingdom of God was in the Lord Jesus, but it was concealed, covered, and confined within His flesh. He stood among the Pharisees, yet they could not observe that something wonderful was in Him. Even His own disciples could not see it. After six days, He went to the mountaintop, and there He was "switched on." He was shining. His shining came from within, not from the heavens. Something within Him was shining. Although this reality was present within Him before His transfiguration, people could not observe it. However, at His transfiguration, His disciples could observe something shining out from within Him.

We may say this was the shining of the Lord Jesus or the transfiguration of the Lord Jesus, but He Himself said it was the coming of the kingdom. The shining forth of the Lord Jesus on the mountaintop was the coming of the kingdom. This is not merely a dispensation or a sphere. Our vocabulary is inadequate to describe it. The transfiguration, the shining of the Lord Jesus on the mountain, was the coming of the kingdom in power! The kingdom is simply the Lord Jesus shining over you. I hope this sentence will make a deep impression on you: the kingdom is the shining of the Lord Jesus, and the kingdom is the spreading of the Lord Jesus by shining over you. He told Peter, James, and John that they would see Him coming in His kingdom—that they would see the kingdom of God coming in power. What did they see? They saw the shining of the Lord Jesus. When Peter, James, and John were all under His shining, they were in the kingdom. Also, the dead saints, represented by Moses, and the living saints, represented by Elijah, appeared and were under the shining of the spreading of the Lord Jesus.

Let me illustrate: suppose there are five brothers living together in a brothers’ house. If these brothers are really under the shining of the Lord Jesus, the kingdom will be there in that brothers’ house. Whenever you visit them, you will sense the shining, the reigning, the ruling, and the good order. Although you would find no list of regulations, everything is kept in order by the shining. Suppose, however, they do not live under the shining, but rather they criticize and despise one another while pretending to love one another. If you visit them you will have the spiritual sensation that you are in a cemetery. Although everything is quiet, there is the dreadful presence of death. Although no one is fighting and everything is in order, death and the authority of darkness are still there. There is no shining.

The kingdom is the shining of the reality of the Lord Jesus. Whenever He is shining over you and you are under that shining, you are in the kingdom. Although it is not easy to describe or define the kingdom, I believe that now you have at least a little understanding. The kingdom is not merely a dispensation, a sphere, or a realm. It is the realization of the reality of the Lord Jesus. Whenever He is spreading by shining over you, you are in the kingdom and the kingdom has come in power.

(The Kingdom, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)