I. THE KINGDOM OF GOD
The revelation of the kingdom of God in John is based upon two verses in John 3. Verse 3 says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Then verse 5 says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." Verse 3 speaks of seeing the kingdom, and verse 5 speaks of entering into the kingdom. To see the kingdom we need to be born anew. To enter into the kingdom we need to be born of water and the Spirit. Water signifies the death of Christ, into which we all have been baptized, and the Spirit signifies resurrection.
The end of John 2 says that many believed in the Lord when they saw the miracles He did, but the Lord had no confidence in such people and could not commit Himself to them (vv. 23-25). Then chapter three begins with the word but. This word indicates that the case concerning Nicodemus in John 3 is different from the case of those who believed in the Lord because of the miracles He performed. The case in John 3 concerns life in regeneration.
It speaks of Nicodemus, a real seeker who came to the Lord in the night (v. 2). He came with much knowledge and many concepts because he was a teacher among the Jewish people. He considered Christ a teacher who had come from God. He might have thought that he needed better teachings to improve himself. But the Lord’s answer unveiled to him that he needed to be born anew. Nicodemus responded by saying, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?" (v. 4). The Lord then told him that he needed a second birth, a new birth.
If we are not born anew, we do not have the capacity to see the kingdom of God. To be born anew is to be born of water, signifying the death of Christ, and of the Spirit, signifying Christ’s resurrection. We need to die with Christ and be resurrected to be a new person of another, new species, new kind.
A. The Reign of God
The kingdom of God is the reign of God.
B. The Divine Reign
Being a Realm of the Divine Species
The kingdom of God is the reign of God. This divine reign is a realm, not only of the divine dominion but also of the divine species, in which are all the divine things. The vegetable kingdom is a realm of the vegetable species, and the animal kingdom is a realm of the animal species. In the same way, the kingdom of God is a realm of the divine species.
(Crystallization-Study of the Gospel of John, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)