Kingdom Truth - What is the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible?
Chapter 8, Part 1
Blessed are the Poor In Spirit
There are two words in the New Testament that can be translated as "poor" in English. One has the meaning that a person is "not wealthy" but life is manageable. The other one has the meaning that one is so poor that one has to "beg" in order to survive. The latter is the meaning here. This word is used twice in Luke as a "poor man" (beggar) in "and a certain poor man named Lazarus" and "Now, it came about that the poor man died." (Luke 16:20, 22). The literal translation of this verse would be "Blessed are the poor who has to beg in the spirit to live". Since the spirit does not need food to live, why should it beg? We must remember that all our spiritual needs belong to the Lord. He is also the only One who can meet them! Therefore, the original meaning of the verse should be "Blessed are those who in the spirit dare not act unless first they ask the Lord". The Lord Jesus lived such a lifestyle. He said, "Whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner" and "I do nothing on My own initiative." (John 5:19, 8:28) For such people, although they are still living on earth, the Kingdom of Heaven is already ruling in their lives. The Kingdom (Kingdom rule) is already theirs. Thanks be to God!
People are often proud of their own achievements and believe they are self made! My money, education, children, house and every possession are mine because of my own abilities. But for a spiritually poor person, he knows wholeheartedly that all things are due to the grace of God. Because of God's grace, he can do this or that. Without God's grace, he dare not act because he senses Heaven is ruling his life. I still remember when I was teaching at Bob Jones University, my conversations often include "By God's grace!” The students thought it was my habitual way of talking. Later on, a student came and said, " Dr. Lin, you often said 'By God's Grace' and we thought it was your way of talking in the beginning. Then we found out that it was your 'Amen'!" Truly, it is my 'Amen'. As God's children, everything is due to God's grace. At the present time, we are receiving Kingdom training. Do we ask God first in everything? It does not matter if it is eating, going to school or work, business or even getting a haircut, we ought to ask God first. We ask for God to give us grace, guidance and watch care. This is not being crazy but genuine training for the children of the Kingdom of Heaven. If we do not obey the ruling power in Heaven now, how can we rule in the Kingdom?
...for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
We all know that when we believed in the Lord Jesus, we are raised with Christ and seated in heaven with Him (Eph. 2:5-6). But whether we can reign with Christ depends on whether or not we allow the ruling power of the Kingdom of Heaven to train our lives. Do we seek His ordinances in all things through prayer? If the matter is unclear after prayer, we hold back. But once it is clear in our prayers, we proceed immediately. So if we train ourselves to be poor in the spirit, the Kingdom of Heaven "is" ours. (The verb to be "is" is in the present tense, so there is no waiting for the future needed. It has already started now). The Kingdom of Heaven is ours and we need not worry if we will obtain the imperishable, undefiled inheritance that will not fade away, reserved in Heaven for us (1 Pete. 1:4). On the contrary, we can firmly believe that we are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Pete. 1:5). Hallelujah!