The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

More excerpts from this title...


In Matthew the Lord Jesus told us that we should not judge others (Matt. 7:1-5). This seed is developed in 1 Corinthians 4:5a: "Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come." If we judge others, we also shall be judged. Now let us read Romans 14:10-13: "But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of God. For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then, each one of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore, let us judge one another no longer, but rather judge this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause of falling before the brother." James 5:9 says, "Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest you be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door." James 2:13 says, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment." These verses show that if we judge others or criticize others, we are short of mercy. We must remember that if we are unmerciful to others now, one day the Lord Jesus will also be unmerciful to us.


The Narrow Gate and the Constricted Way

The first ground sown by the Lord Jesus as a seed is the narrow gate and the constricted way. The proper Christian life is surely narrow. This seed is developed in 1 Corinthians 4:9b-13: "For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honorable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day." After reading these verses could we consider that the Apostle Paul took a broad way? Surely he took a narrow gate with a constricted way.

In 2 Corinthians 11:23b-27 Paul says: "In labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness; in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." Paul’s living, walk, and work could stand because they were built upon a solid foundation. He did not take the broad way, but the constricted way. If we take the broad way, our walk, our work, and our living cannot stand the test. One day the rains will fall, the flood will come, and the winds will blow. Then what we are and what we have done will be damaged.

(The Kingdom, Chapter 43, by Witness Lee)