1 Excerpts from Life-study of Matthew, Message 13 THE DECREE OF THE KINGDOM S CONSTITUTION (1) Bible Verses: Matthew 5:1 And when He saw the crowds, He went up to the mountain. And after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. 5:2 And opening His mouth, He taught them, saying, 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens. [THE KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS] In this message we come to the decree of the kingdom s constitution recorded in chapters five, six, and seven. Throughout the years, these three chapters have been either misunderstood or misused by many Christians. One of the most difficult things for believers to understand is the kingdom of the heavens. To understand the kingdom of the heavens, we all must be unloaded of the traditional concepts we received from our background in Christianity. The kingdom of the heavens is a special section within the kingdom of God, composed only of the church today and the heavenly part of the coming millennial kingdom. Hence, the kingdom of the heavens, a section of the kingdom of God, is also called the kingdom of God in the New Testament, especially in the other three Gospels. If you would understand Matthew, you must differentiate the kingdom of the heavens from the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is simply the divine ruling. It is God s ruling from eternity past to eternity future. The kingdom of the heavens is a part of the kingdom of God, just as California is a part of the United States. Because the kingdom of the heavens is part of the kingdom of God, it is sometimes called the kingdom of God. For example, California, part of the United States, is sometimes called the United States. When someone from abroad comes to California, he may say that he has come to the United States. Although California may be called the United States, the United States cannot be called California. Likewise, although the kingdom of the heavens may be called the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God cannot be called the kingdom of the heavens. Matthew 21:43 indicates that the kingdom of God would be taken away from Israel. For the kingdom of God to be taken away from Israel indicates that it already was with Israel. If it had not been with Israel, how could it have been taken away? Although the kingdom of God was there already, John the Baptist said, Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near (3:2). On the one hand, the kingdom of God was there; on the other hand, the kingdom of the heavens was not yet there. [T]he kingdom of the heavens had still only drawn near. It was not until the day of Pentecost that the kingdom of the heavens came. The kingdom of the heavens is composed of two sections. The first section is the church, and the second section is the upper part of the millennium. All genuine Christians are in the church today. But only the overcoming Christians will be in the upper part, the heavenly part, of the millennium. [ON THE MOUNTAIN] It is very meaningful that the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens was decreed upon a mountain. The sea signifies the Satan-corrupted world. When we were caught by the Lord, we were in the Satan-corrupted world endeavoring to make a living. But after the Lord caught us, He led us up to a high mountain signifying the kingdom of the heavens. This indicates that the kingdom of the heavens was not established on the seashore, but on the mountain. In the Bible a mountain sometimes signifies the kingdom. For example, according to Daniel 2:34-35, the stone cut without hands broke the image into pieces and became a great mountain that filled the whole earth. This mountain signifies the millennial kingdom. Hence, in the Bible a mountain signifies the kingdom, especially the kingdom of the heavens.
2 Furthermore, being brought up to the mountain signifies that if we would listen to the decree of the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens, we must not stay on a low plain, but climb up a high mountain. We must be on a high level to hear this constitution. On the seashore, the Lord simply said, Follow me. But for the decree of the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens, He brought them to the top of a mountain. Following the Lord may be rather easy, but listening to the constitution for the establishment of the kingdom of the heavens requires that we climb up to the top of a high mountain. [BEING POOR IN SPIRIT] [Matt. 5 :3-11] describe nine aspects of the nature of the kingdom people. Although many have spoken about the blessings in these verses, I have not heard anyone speak about the spirit in verse 3. The kingdom of the heavens is firstly related to our spirit. The spirit in verse 3 refers not to the Spirit of God, but to our human spirit, the deepest part of our being, the organ for us to contact God and realize spiritual things. To be poor in spirit does not mean to have a poor spirit. Our spirit should never be poor. To have a poor spirit would be pitiful. But if we are poor in our spirit, we are blessed. To be poor in spirit is not only to be humble, but also to be emptied in our spirit, in the depth of our being, not holding on to the old things of the old dispensation, but unloaded to receive the new things, the things of the kingdom of the heavens. We need to be poor, emptied, unloaded, in this part of our being so that we may realize and possess the kingdom of the heavens. This implies that the kingdom of the heavens is a spiritual matter, not a material one. Today a great many Christians are also loaded in their spirit. Nearly every kind of Christian today is filled in his spirit with something other than God. When the Lord Jesus came preaching, Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near (4:17), not many could receive His word because their spirit was filled with other things. The best drink was being offered, but their vessel was already filled. Thus, they were not thirsty. When our spirit is filled, we have no capacity in our vessel for even the best drink. Therefore, when the Lord spoke to the disciples on the mountain, the opening word of His decree was that we must be poor in spirit, that our spirit must be emptied of everything. We all need to heed the Lord s word about being poor in our spirit and say, Lord, unload me. Empty my spirit. I don t want to store anything in my spirit. Lord, I want the full capacity in my spirit to be available to You. Those who are poor in spirit are blessed, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens. age. What a blessing it is to be poor in spirit! If we are poor in spirit, ours is the kingdom of the heavens. Hallelujah for the first blessing and for the kingdom of the heavens! How good it is to be poor in our spirit! Read the verses and footnotes online: Read the complete message online:
3 Excerpts from Life-study of Matthew, Message 14 THE DECREE OF THE KINGDOM S CONSTITUTION (2) Bible Verses: Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens. 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. [THE KINGDOM RELATED TO OUR SPIRIT] The kingdom of the heavens is absolutely related to our spirit. The first blessing in chapter five is a blessing in our spirit: Blessed are the poor in spirit (5:3). Thus, the first aspect of the kingdom of the heavens covered in this chapter is related to our human spirit. If we do not know our spirit, we are through with the kingdom of the heavens because the kingdom of the heavens is related to our spirit. As the Lord Jesus was speaking there on the mountain, He knew the actual situation of His audience, an audience composed of Galileans. Those Galileans were filled with the traditional concepts of religion. During the time the Lord Jesus was on earth, all the people, whether they were Jews or Romans or Greeks, were filled up. The Jews were filled with their traditional religious concepts, with their scriptural knowledge, and with the teachings of the law. The Lord Jesus came as the new King to start a new dispensation. With the coming of the new King, God began a new economy. God s new dispensation is involved with a wonderful Person. Speaking figuratively, this new economy is simply this Person. Do not consider the kingdom of the heavens as something apart from Christ. No, it is Christ Himself. Without the King, we could not have the kingdom. We cannot have the kingdom of the heavens without Christ. Turning our mind provides a gateway for us to enter into the kingdom and for the kingdom to enter into us. The mind is neither the receiver nor the inner chamber; it is the gateway. The receiver, the inner chamber, is our spirit. Thus, our mind is the gateway, and our spirit is the inner chamber. We must put the Lord s word in 4:17, Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near, with His word in 5:3, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens. The mind that has turned is the gateway through which the kingdom of the heavens comes into us. When the kingdom comes in, it is implanted in our spirit. It enters through the gateway of our mind and it arrives at our spirit. It is our spirit, not our mind, that receives the kingdom and retains it. Therefore, our spirit is the receiver and container of the kingdom of the heavens. [RECEIVING THE KING WITH THE KINGDOM] The very Lord Jesus, who has entered our spirit through our mind, is the king. The kingdom is with Him. When the King enters someone s spirit, this means that the kingdom also enters into his spirit. From that time onward, both the King and the kingdom remain in his spirit. Throughout the years, we have emphasized the importance of 2 Timothy 4:22: The Lord be with your spirit. We have always applied this to the matter of life. However, now we must also see that whenever we say that the Lord Jesus is with our spirit, it means that the kingdom is with our spirit. This Lord Jesus is not only the Savior and the life, but also the King with the kingdom. Today we may declare, In my spirit I have the Savior, the life, the King, and the kingdom! When we repented and believed in the Lord Jesus as the Savior, the life, and the King with the kingdom, He entered our spirit and was implanted there. Therefore, in our spirit we now have the Savior, the life, and the King with the kingdom. We received such a One into us by being repentant in our mind and poor in spirit. When you have emptied your spirit, the King with the kingdom will come into you. Then yours is the kingdom of the heavens.
4 When you received the Lord Jesus, did you realize that a kind of ruling had come into you? This ruling is the reigning of the kingdom. We have not only the Savior and the life, but also the King. This King exercises His authority from within our spirit. Even if you were just saved today, you already have this kingdom within you. Although I was saved more than fifty years ago, I do not have anything more than someone who has just been saved. The One within us is our Savior, our life, and our King with the kingdom. How rich and how high He is! Because we have received Him into our spirit, ours is the kingdom of the heavens. The kingdom is ours, and the kingdom is in our spirit. [BLESSED BY MOURNING AND BY BEING MEEK] Although we should be very happy to hear that we are in the kingdom of the heavens today, in the very next verse the Lord Jesus told us to mourn. Verse 4 says, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. It does not seem logical to say that those who mourn are blessed and happy. However, if we pray for a certain period of time, with a spirit filled with the King and the kingdom, we shall begin to mourn over the negative situation of today. The entire situation of the world is negative in relation to God s economy. Satan, sin, self, darkness, and worldliness predominate among all people on earth. God s glory is insulted, Christ is rejected, the Holy Spirit is frustrated, the church is desolated, self is corrupted, and the whole world is evil. Hence, God wants us to mourn over such a situation. Because the kingdom is in us, we are subdued, controlled, and ruled by the indwelling King. If, while we are under this rule, we look at the environment and the situation of today s world, we shall sigh and mourn. This mourning, however, is a blessing, for the Lord said that those who mourn shall be comforted. If we mourn according to God and His economy, we shall be comforted by being rewarded with the kingdom of the heavens. We shall see God s heavenly ruling over all the negative situation. Many times I have had the experience of mourning and being comforted. Do not be disappointed. We must mourn, yet we are filled with hope. The King is coming, the enemy will be defeated, and the earth will be regained by Christ. Sooner or later, we shall be comforted. Is it not a comfort to see so many in the Lord s recovery seeking the Lord and His kingdom? What a comfort this is to me! If you have never experienced mourning in your spirit, then you cannot realize how sweet and comforting it is to see so many who care only for the Lord s kingdom. For this reason, we love all the dear saints in the Lord s recovery. All the churches with all the seeking saints are a real comfort to every mourning spirit. The sequence in these verses is very significant. Firstly we are poor in spirit to receive the King with the kingdom and to contain Him. Then we mourn over the pitiful situation and are comforted. Following this, we have a word about the meek. Verse 5 says, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Some translators have said that the Greek word rendered earth should be land. But whether we translate this as earth or land, it refers to the coming subdued world. Today the earth is a worldly kingdom under the rule of Satan. But the day is coming when the Lord, the King, will regain this world. Revelation 11:15 says, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. The world spoken of in Revelation 11:15 is the earth in verse 5. In Matthew 5:5 the Lord says that the meek will inherit the earth. Those who are poor in spirit in verse 3 and who mourn in verse 4 are now the meek in verse 5. Many Christians do not understand what it means to be meek. It does not mean simply to be gentle, humble, and submissive. To be meek means not to resist the world s opposition, but to suffer it willingly. To be meek means not to fight or to resist. Satan is always fighting, but the Lord Jesus never fights. Instead, He is meek. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5). Read the verses and footnotes online: Read the complete message online:
5 Excerpts from Life-study of Matthew, Message 15 THE DECREE OF THE KINGDOM S CONSTITUTION (3) Bible Verses: Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens. 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. [THE NATURE OF THE KINGDOM PEOPLE] In order to have a good nation or kingdom, there must be good people. A proper country needs proper people. Thus, in the constitution of the heavenly kingdom, the Lord Jesus firstly reveals the kind of people who live in the kingdom of the heavens. The nine blessings in 5:3-12 are all related to the nature of the kingdom people. The kind of people we are depends upon our nature. Every aspect of these nine blessings deals mainly with our inward being, not with outward material things. In considering the nature of the kingdom people as revealed in these verses, we need to remember nine crucial words, one for each of the nine blessings: poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness, merciful, pure, peaceful, persecuted, and reproached. These words reveal what kind of people the kingdom people should be. They should always be poor in spirit, mournful over the present situation, meek in facing opposition, righteous toward themselves, merciful toward others, pure toward God, peaceful toward all men, persecuted for righteousness, and reproached for the sake of Christ. The totality of these nine words is the nature of the kingdom people. [POOR IN SPIRIT, MOURNING, MEEK, HUNGRY AND THIRSTY FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS] The New Testament tells us that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against the Devil, against the enemy of God. We must fight against the Devil, God s enemy, day and night. However, we are not to fight against people, not even against those who oppose us. Toward all men, including the adversaries and opposers, we must be meek. Although we fight Satan and the principalities in the air, we do not fight people. Instead, we love them all. We need to be so meek that, even if a persecutor hits us on the right cheek, we would turn to him the left cheek. To be meek means not to resist or to fight back. However, as we turn our left cheek to the persecutor, we should pray, Lord, bind the powers of darkness! While we are being meek toward other people, we must fight against the powers of darkness. The enemy is not the people; it is Satan and his angels, the evil powers in the air. The sequence of these verses is very significant. Firstly we must be poor in spirit, and then we can mourn. If we are not poor in our spirit, we do not have the capacity for the King to come in to establish His kingdom within our being. If we do not have the heavenly kingdom established within us, we cannot realize how negative and pitiful the whole world is. However, when the Lord Jesus is able to set up His kingdom within us and when the full capacity of our whole being, even the depths of our being, our spirit, is available to Him, we shall realize that the earth is dark, corrupt, and filled with sin. Spontaneously we shall mourn for this sad situation.
6 If we are poor in spirit and mourn for the pitiful situation of others, spontaneously we shall be meek. Even if your mother-in-law is in a pitiful condition, do not tell her so. Even the condition of your dear wife may not be very positive in the eyes of the Lord. If her heart and her interests are not for the Lord, and she does not care for the Lord s kingdom, her situation is pitiful. You have the Lord Jesus with the heavenly kingdom in your spirit, but what about your wife? You may be in the highest heaven, but she may be in the lowest hell. Furthermore, consider your children. You may love the Lord to the uttermost, but they may not love Him at all. Therefore, you must mourn for your mother-in-law, your wife, and your children. You must also mourn for your relatives, your colleagues, and your neighbors. Where is one who is truly for the Lord? Look at the deplorable condition of the world today, including that of Christianity. The merchants care only for money, the students care only for their education, and the working people care only for promotions and positions. When we are poor in spirit, we shall surely mourn for the whole situation. We shall mourn for our environment and for the people around us. Because we mourn for others, we would never fight against them. Instead of fighting them, spontaneously we shall be meek toward them. As we are being meek toward others, we must hunger and thirst for righteousness. We ourselves must be right with everyone. We must be right with our parents, our husband or wife, our children, our in-laws, our relatives, and our neighbors. The people of the heavenly kingdom are righteous in this way. Although we must be strict with ourselves in righteousness, we must learn to be merciful to others and not to place demands on them. learn. The kingdom people are both righteous and merciful. When you are righteous, you must be absolutely righteous; and when you are merciful, you must be very merciful. If you are not righteous with yourself and merciful to others, you will find it difficult to be pure in heart toward God. [PURE IN HEART, PEACEMAKERS] If we are strict with ourselves and merciful to others, we shall have a pure heart, a heart single toward God. The reward of having a pure heart is seeing God. I can assure you that if you will practice being strict with yourself and merciful with others, you will see God. You will also be a peaceful person. Those who are strict with themselves, merciful to others, and pure toward God are peacemakers. They do not like to offend, hurt, or damage anyone. Rather, they like to make peace with everyone. To be a peacemaker does not mean to be political. To be political is falsehood and hypocrisy. We must be righteously square, not politically round. Remember, the New Jerusalem is square, not round. We Christians must be like this. Although we are righteously square, we are still merciful toward others. This enables us to be pure toward God and to see Him. If we are such a person, spontaneously we shall be peacemakers. Instead of fighting with others and hurting them, we shall always maintain peace with those with whom we are involved. Those who are peacemakers will be called sons of God. This means that those around us will say, These people are not only the sons of men, but the sons of God. All the sons of men fight against one another, but the sons of God, like their heavenly Father, are peaceful and always make peace with others. Read the verses and footnotes online: Read the complete message online: