ENTERING INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD, NOT THROUGH TEACHING BUT THROUGH REGENERATION
If we desire to serve the Lord and walk on His way for our whole life, we must have a pure knowledge of the Word according to God’s revelation. We must see that the drawing near of God’s kingdom is the drawing near of God Himself. We must also see that man’s becoming a part of God’s world is man’s entering into God’s kingdom. As soon as man becomes a part of God’s world, man has entered into the kingdom of God. Nicodemus was concerned mainly with morality when he came to see the Lord and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher” (John 3:2). He thought that the Lord had come from God to teach ethics. But the Lord immediately interrupted him and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (v. 3). The Lord Jesus was patient and refined. He was not like us; we are always so rude. What He meant in actuality was: “Do not speak nonsense. Have you not seen what John the Baptist did? Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a person is born anew, he can by no means enter into the kingdom of God, and he cannot even see it.” Nicodemus was anxious when he heard this word, so he asked, “How can a man be born when he is old?” The Lord Jesus answered, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (vv. 4-5). What He meant was: “You have to remember what John the Baptist said and go into the water first, and then I will baptize you into the Holy Spirit. Unless you are born of water and the Spirit, you cannot have a share in God’s world; that is, you cannot participate in God’s kingdom.”
In order for a dog or a cow to enter and participate in the human world, the human kingdom, it has to receive the human life by being born again. A dog or a cow can be in the human kingdom only by birth. I was born a man with man’s life, so naturally I entered into the human world, the human kingdom. When I am in the human world, I am in the human kingdom. Today we all are descendants of Adam born in the human world; we entered the human kingdom by being born of our parents. If we want to obtain the citizenship of a certain country or join a certain club in society, we need to meet certain requirements or pay a fee. To be in the human kingdom, however, the only requirement is to be born. In fact, we had already entered into the human kingdom even while we were still in our mother’s womb. This is why the Chinese count the age of a person from the time he is conceived in the mother’s womb.
Today God desires that we would enter into God’s world, God’s kingdom. According to our natural understanding, we would say, “This is wonderful! Lord, please teach me how to enter into the kingdom of God.” But His answer would be: “How can I teach you? Even if I would teach you until you became an old man, you would still be a man. It is impossible for Me to make you God by teaching you. You cannot become God unless you are born anew of Him.” For example, teaching is absolutely necessary when you are trying to get a monkey to act like a human. However, regardless of how much the monkey has been taught and how much the monkey is able to mimic human behavior, the monkey is still a monkey. The monkey cannot become a human unless it is born again of man. Thirty years ago when I first came to Taiwan, I went to the zoo and watched a show in which a monkey ate a meal with a knife and fork. When the monkey came out onto the stage, the trainer would hit it with a whip, and the monkey would stand up right away, put on a small cap, and pick up a knife and a fork. Then when the trainer would hit the monkey again, the monkey would start eating the meal like a Westerner. That kind of performance is an attempt to teach a monkey to enter into the human kingdom. In my opinion, however, no amount of teaching can enable the monkey to enter into the human kingdom. The monkey had the monkey’s life and did not want to enter into the human kingdom. In fact, it was quite a suffering for the monkey to try to be in the human kingdom. The monkey was forced to learn obediently because of the whip that was flying at him. But once the performance was over, the monkey immediately climbed down from the table, exposing its real condition. Today all religions, including Christianity, are just like trainers teaching monkeys to enter into the human kingdom. In the end, however, man’s true nature is completely exposed. A monkey having only the monkey life can enter only into the monkey kingdom; a monkey cannot enter into the human kingdom through education. In order to enter into the human kingdom, a monkey has to possess the human life.
(The Economy of God and the Mystery of the Transmission of the Divine Trinity, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)