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Life-Study of Matthewby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0332-4
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 25 of 72 Section 1 of 5

LIFE-STUDY OF MATTHEW

MESSAGE TWENTY-FIVE

THE CONTINUATION OF THE KING’S MINISTRY

(1)

In the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens there are four verses that tell us how we can enter into the kingdom of the heavens. The first is Matthew 5:3, which says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens.” The second says, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens” (5:10). Both of these verses refer to the present. If we would be in the reality of the kingdom today, we need to be poor in our spirit and to be persecuted for the sake of righteousness. The reality of the kingdom today depends mainly upon righteousness. We are ushered into the reality of the kingdom by being poor in spirit. After we have had a change in our mind, we turn to the Lord and become empty in our spirit. In this way the Lord enters our spirit with His heavenly kingdom. From that moment, we begin to live in the reality of the kingdom. By being righteous, we are kept in this reality. However, if we are unrighteous, we are outside the reality of the kingdom. As long as we maintain righteousness, we are preserved in the reality of the kingdom. Examine your daily life. If you are loose, too free, and careless about righteousness, you are immediately separated from the reality of the kingdom. If we would be in the reality of the kingdom today, we must be poor in our spirit, and we must keep ourselves in righteousness, willing even to suffer for the sake of righteousness.

The other two verses that tell us how to enter the kingdom both refer to entering into the manifestation of the kingdom of the heavens in the future. Matthew 5:20 says, “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens.” This refers to participating in the manifestation of the kingdom. If we would enter into the manifestation of the kingdom of the heavens, we need the surpassing righteousness. Hence, righteousness not only keeps us in the reality of the kingdom, but also brings us into the manifestation of the kingdom.

The last verse is 7:21, which says, “Not every one who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in the heavens.” This verse reveals that in order to enter into the kingdom of the heavens, we must do the will of the Father. Therefore, it is righteousness and the doing of the Father’s will that will usher us into the manifestation of the kingdom. Righteousness refers mainly to our living, and doing the will of the Father refers mainly to our work. Both our living and our work must be according to the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens. If our living is according to this constitution, it will be righteous. And if our work is according to the constitution, it will be the doing of the will of God. This kind of living and work qualifies us to enter into the manifestation of the kingdom. Therefore, by being poor in our spirit, we are ushered into the reality of the kingdom, and through righteousness we are kept in this reality. By the surpassing righteousness and the doing the will of the Father, we shall enter into the manifestation of the kingdom of the heavens.

After delivering the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens on the mountain, the Lord Jesus came down from the mountain to continue His ministry. In this message we shall consider the continuation of the King’s ministry (8:1—9:34).

I. SIGNS WITH DISPENSATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE

After the new King came down from the mountain to carry on His kingly ministry, the first thing He did was to cleanse the unclean, heal the sick, and cast the demons out of the possessed that they might all become people of the kingdom of the heavens (8:2-17).

The miracles, or signs, recorded in verses 2 through 17 have a dispensational significance. The order of the four instances recorded in Matthew 8:2-16 differs from that in Mark 1:29—2:1 and Luke 4:38-41; 5:12-14; and 7:1-10. The order of Mark’s record, showing that Jesus is the Servant of God, is according to history. The order of Matthew’s record, proving that Christ is the King of the kingdom of the heavens, is according to doctrine. In his Gospel, Matthew put certain instances together to present a doctrine. The order of Luke’s record, revealing that Jesus is the proper man to be man’s Savior, is according to morality. The order of John’s record, testifying that Christ is the Son of God and even God Himself, is also somewhat according to history. Therefore, in the four Gospels there are three kinds of sequences: historical, doctrinal, and moral. In Matthew 8:1-17 three miracles—the cleansing of the leper, the healing of the paralyzed Gentile servant boy, and the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law—and the healing of many are grouped together to present a meaningful doctrine, that is, they have a dispensational significance. Let us first consider the healing of the leper (vv. 1-4).


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