The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

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Matthew 11:25-27 reveals another basic principle: the kingdom is absolutely a matter of divine revelation. After speaking about John the Baptist, the Lord turned to talk to the Father. Verse 25 begins, "At that time Jesus answered and said,..." This is quite interesting. Has your prayer ever been an answer to God? Have you ever begun your prayer by answering God? In verse 25 Christ started His prayer by answering God. "I praise You, Father, Lord of the heaven and of the earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent." This is marvelous! The Lord’s prayer in these verses began as an answer to the Father. It seems that as the Lord Jesus was talking to the people, the heavenly Father asked Him a question: "Do you mean that God the Father hides the kingdom from the wise and intelligent?" The Lord responded, "Yes, Father, that is what I mean." The principle here is that we should never exercise our wisdom or cleverness. In the kingdom life we must forget our wisdom and cleverness. The kingdom of the heavens is not a matter of our being wise or intelligent. If we think that we are wise or intelligent, we are finished as far as the kingdom is concerned. We must be like little babes. If we become like little babes, we will receive the revelation. God hides the kingdom from the wise and intelligent, but He reveals it to babes. Therefore, do not exercise your wisdom, mentality, or cleverness. As long as you place confidence in your knowledge, you are through with the kingdom. We all should be little babes in the local churches today. If we become wise and intelligent, we can no longer participate in the kingdom life or share the enjoyment of Christ. The kingdom life will become a hidden matter as far as we are concerned. We must be like little babes. Then we will receive the revelation.

What is this revelation? The revelation is that the kingdom is nothing other than the Son of God (11:27). This verse tells us that the revelation of the kingdom is simply the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. If you are religiously wise and intelligent, you will never receive the revelation of the kingdom. The kingdom is a heavenly revelation concerning the Lord Jesus. If you receive this revelation, you will know Him in such a rich way, in a way of tasting and in a way of life. In the church life we should continually have a vision of the Lord Jesus, not merely a doctrine about Him. The content of the kingdom is the wonderful Lord Jesus. Verse 27 gives us the revelation of the kingdom life. If we read this verse in its context beginning at verse 20, we will see that it is the revelation of the kingdom life. The revelation of the kingdom life is the revelation of the Son with the Father.

Many years ago I studied the Bible under the influence of some good teachers. However, the more I was taught, the less I knew the Lord Jesus. One day the Lord brought me to the local church. In a very short time I came to know the Lord Jesus, not in a doctrinal way, but in a living way, in the way of life, taste, and enjoyment. Although I have been in this way for more than forty years, I cannot exhaust the enjoyment of the Christ revealed to me in the local churches. Nevertheless, I am still concerned that some of the dear ones may remain wise and intelligent in a religious way. If so, they will have no real knowledge of Christ and no genuine enjoyment of Him. We need to follow the principle that the revelation of the kingdom is given to babes.

Let us review the principles we have covered thus far in Matthew 11. First, due to the opposition of human culture, the kingdom must be taken by violence. Second, the kingdom is not a matter of outward regulations. Since the kingdom life is the life of Christ, we should not make any outward regulations into a standard. Third, if we remain in the kingdom for the kingdom life, we must forget our wisdom and cleverness. It is awful to be religiously wise and intelligent. We need to become like babes, so simple and so single. Then we will know the Lord Jesus whom others cannot know. We will also know the Father. The Son with the Father will become our enjoyment.

(The Kingdom, Chapter 22, by Witness Lee)