The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

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From Matthew 13 we go on to 1 Corinthians 3. In this chapter Paul clearly states that we are God’s farm, that he planted and Apollos watered, and that God gave the growth. This is the development of Matthew 13. First Corinthians 3 shows that in the development of the seed, God’s co-workers are planters and waterers. It does not say that Paul taught and Apollos edified and God gave the graduation certificate. In this chapter there is no teacher, but there is a planter. There is no edifier, but there is a waterer. We thank God for the planting, for the watering, and for the growth. This is one side of the development.

Another side is found in Galatians. In Galatians 1:15a and 16a, the Apostle Paul said, "It pleased reveal His Son in me." This means God sowed Christ into him. When God the Father reveals His Son in us, He sows Christ into us as the seed of life. In Galatians 2:20 Paul said, "Christ lives in me." First, Christ is revealed in us; second, Christ lives in us. This indicates growth and development. In Galatians 4:19 Paul said, "until Christ is formed in you." Christ not only lives in us, but He is being formed in us. To be formed in us means Christ becomes fully settled within us. Many times I have used the illustration of a glove. A glove was made to contain a hand. Sometimes it may be difficult to put our hand into a glove in a proper way. We must gradually insert each finger forcibly until it fits exactly into the fingers of the glove. This illustrates Christ living in us and endeavoring to be formed in us. He is waiting for an opportunity to spread into every inward part of our being. When He is able to do this, He will be formed in us.

This will be the reality of Ephesians 3:17 which says, "That Christ may make His home in your hearts." The heart is composed of the mind, the will, the emotions, and the conscience. At the center of our heart is our spirit. Christ is in the center, awaiting the opportunity to spread out of our spirit into our mind, emotions, and will. Then Christ will settle Himself in every part of our heart. This means that Christ makes His home in our heart, occupying and possessing our whole being. This is the spreading of the indwelling Christ. The spreading of the indwelling Christ is simply the growing of the seed of life within us.

Although we may have previously heard about the increase of Christ within us, we perhaps did not realize that this increase within us is simply the growth of the kingdom. The increase of Christ within us is both the growth of the kingdom and also the gradual coming of the kingdom. The kingdom comes by the growth of Christ. As the indwelling Christ is spreading and growing within our inward parts, the kingdom is coming. Even now the kingdom is coming, although somewhat slowly due to the condition of our soul-life. If we will render the Lord more adequate cooperation, the speed of the coming of the kingdom will increase.

Many think that the kingdom of God will come automatically and that we can sleep while we wait for it to appear. If you take this way, you will sleep for two thousand years and still the kingdom will not come. The kingdom does not come in such a way. According to the revelation of the Bible, the kingdom comes by the growing process of the indwelling Christ. When the indwelling Christ grows in us, it means that the kingdom has gained more ground. The full coming of the kingdom will be the maturity of the growth of Christ. The maturity of the growth of Christ within us is the coming of the kingdom. We are waiting for the coming of the kingdom in a growing way. While we are waiting, we are growing. While we are growing, the kingdom is coming, for our growing is the coming of the kingdom.

(The Kingdom, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)