This week in our morning revival we focus on the topic of the Knowledge of life, and in particular today we want to see that Christ as life is the reality of the tree of life, and we need to eat Christ as the tree of life.
We need to know life and the church, in particular to know that the Triune God is life to us, the tripartite men, for the fulfilment of God’s eternal purpose.
When we speak of life and knowing life, we speak of life as the content of God, and when we speak of the church, the church is the fulness of God. We need the content of God to fill us so that we become the corporate expression of God.
God wants to be our life so that we may express Him; this is the desire of God’s heart. As we focus on the knowledge of life, we don’t merely want to know things about life but have the subjective knowledge of life, the experiential knowledge of life, the enjoyable knowledge of life.
And this life is not our human natural life (our physical life), or our psychological life, but the divine life, the eternal life that is uncreated and unlimited – the life of the Triune God. This life is a wonderful Person – life is God in Christ as the Spirit flowing into us as our enjoyment.
What is life? What is the divine life? It is simply the wonderful person of God in Christ as the Spirit flowing into us as our enjoyment. We need to enjoy this Person as our life.
We need to exercise our spirit to open to the Lord as the tree of life. We need to allow the Lord’s light to expose our situation so that we may see where we are in the Lord in relation with knowing life.
Enjoy Christ as the Tree of Life by Loving Him with the First Love and by Eating Him
According to God’s purpose, the center of the universe is the earth, the center of the earth is the garden of Eden (see Gen. 2), and the center of the garden of Eden is the tree of life, which was put by God right in the middle of the garden (Gen. 2:7-9).
God’s purpose is with the tree of life; He wants man to take in the tree of life, be filled with God as life, express God, and represent Him in life with His expression and dominion.
In God’s eyes, the tree of life is the center of the universe; therefore, the primary matter in the church life should be for us to eat Christ as the tree of life, that is, enjoy Christ as the supply of life. Eating Christ as the tree of life solves all the problems in the church through the work of the cross.
Whatever problem we have, whatever problems we have in the church life, enjoying the Lord as the tree of life will solve that problem. When we are purely and genuinely enjoying the Lord, all our problems are solved, and all the problems in the church are solved.
When we eat Christ as the tree of life, the cross operates in that enjoyment to eliminate all the problems in our being; the cross crucifies the self, the natural man, sin, death, and all the problems are eliminated.
When we eat the tree of life, as seen in Rev. 2:7 and 1 Pet. 2:24, we eat the crucified and resurrected Christ, and He solves all our problems. The cross operates in our enjoyment of the tree of life and in our eating Christ as our life supply.
How can we enjoy Christ as the reality of the tree of life today? There are many ways, but two of them are simply loving Him with the first love and eating the Lord to live because of Him.
The reward to the overcomers in Ephesus, to those who overcome the loss of the first love, is to eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:4, 7). We need to love the Lord with our first love and not leave our best love for Him so that we would enjoy the Lord as the tree of life.
To love the Lord with the first love doesn’t necessarily mean that we should always be in a honeymoon with the Lord as we were when we first believed into Him; it means that we give Him the first place in all things, we give Him the preeminence in our being.
When we give the Lord the preeminence in everything – in our personal life, church life, work life, and in all things related to us – we love Him with the first love, and we enjoy Him as the tree of life. We need to be romantic with the Lord, being the Lord Jesus, I love You! – people.
A second way to enjoy Christ as the tree of life is seen in John 6:57 and 63; we need to eat the Lord to live because of Him, that is, enjoy Him as the Spirit and life in the fresh, living word spoken to us by Him.
Eating the Lord in His word causes us to live because of Him, for Christ becomes the basic factor and the energizing supply for our living. The way for us to eat Christ is by eating His words every day.
We need to daily make fresh discoveries in God’s word, finding His words and eating Him, and we will be filled with joy and gladness in our heart (Jer. 15:16).
Lord Jesus, we want to eat You as the tree of life so that we may be inwardly supplied and live a life for the fulfilment of God’s eternal purpose to be express God and represent Him in life. Lord Jesus, we love You! We give You the first place in all things. Have the preeminence in all things related to us and in all our life. We want to come to You in Your word to find Your word in a fresh way, eat Your word, be filled with Your word, and live because of the Christ wrought into us as the tree of life.
God’s goal is Life; Life is God in Christ as the Spirit Flowing in us to be Enjoyed by us
In the beginning of the Bible, when God came in to restore the universe, the goal of His restoration and further creation was life (see Gen. 1:26-28, 31; 2:7-9).
He first created the plant life, then the animal life, then the human life, and finally the tree of life was there; each time He said, This is good, and at the end when man was created He said, This is very good!
When God obtains a man in His image to express Him and represent Him – and this man is in front of the tree of life to take God in as life and fulfill God’s purpose, God is satisfied and happy.
Today we need to exercise our spirit and take Christ as the tree of life into us, so that we may fulfill God’s purpose and satisfy His heart’s desire.
God breathed into us the breath of life – which became our human spirit (same word in Gen. 2:9 for spirit is used in Prov. 20:27 for spirit); when we exercise our spirit, we can contact God, receive God, worship God, live God, fulfill God’s purpose for God, and be one with God.
But man fell and was ruined by the enemy; now man is fallen and cannot fulfill God’s purpose, having lost God’s expression and dominion.
Therefore, God provided the way of redemption – by believing into Christ we receive the washing and removing of sins, justification by God, reconciliation to God, and we are positionally sanctified.
All these are for God’s organic salvation, as Rom. 5:10 says, Much More we will saved in His life. God reconciled us to Himself through the death of His Son, and now He is much more saving us in His life.
We are now in the process of being saved in God’s life by regeneration (we receive God’s life), dispositional sanctification (we receive God’s nature), renewing (we receive God’s element), transformation (we receive God’s being), conformation (we participate in God’s image), and glorification (we participate in God’s glory).
The Lord as the Author of our salvation is right now leading many sons into glory through the process of His organic salvation. God’s goal is life, and His judicial redemption lays the foundation for His people to be qualified to be saved in His life.
We see this in two pictures in the Bible, one in the Old and the other in the New Testament. The Passover Lamb in Exodus had to be slain, and its blood was to be sprinkled on the doorposts so that God’s judgement would pass over His people.
Furthermore, the lamb itself had to be cooked in a particular way and had to be eaten in its entirety by God’s people, who had to be ready to go. This shows us that, on the one hand, we apply the blood of Christ to escape God’s judgement, and on the other, we need to eat Christ as the Lamb of God to escape Satan’s domination and the world’s usurpation.
In the New Testament we have Luke 15 with the parable of the prodigal son; when he returned, the father had not only the best robe (a type of Christ as our righteousness covering us before God objectively) but also the fattened calf (a type of Christ as our rich supply of life) for his son. God’s goal is life.
What is life? According to the revelation in the Bible, life is God Himself as the Spirit flowing out to be enjoyed by man and to please and satisfy man.
Wow, God wants to make us happy! This is not by “patting us on the back to cheer us up” but by becoming our satisfaction and delight as the tree of life. He put us in the church life, the real garden of Eden, and here God the Father is the fountain of life and light, God the Son is the fatness of God’s house, and God the Spirit is the river of God’s pleasures to nourish us and satisfy us (Psa. 36:7-9).
God is in Christ, Christ today is the Spirit, and the Spirit is life (see John 14:9-10, 17-19; 6:63; Rom. 8:2). Therefore, today we need to come to the Lord to eat Him as the bread of life so that we may live because of Him, the One whom we eat and enjoy as our supply (John 6:35, 57, 63; Matt. 15:22-27).
We may think we are not worthy of eating the Lord…but He was processed and consummated to be the Spirit to reach us as life and be our pleasure and satisfaction.
Lord, thank You for coming to us as God in Christ as the Spirit to be enjoyed by us, please us, and satisfy us. We open to You right now, Lord, to eat You as the tree of life! Cause us to drink of the river of Your pleasures, give us to eat the fatness of Your house, and keep us drinking of the fountain of life and light. Oh Lord, save us much more in life today! May we experience the much more salvation so that we may be conformed to Your image, renewed with Your element, and participate in Your glory!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ed Marks for this week, and portions from, Knowing Life and the Church, ch. 1 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Knowing Life and the Church, msg. 2 (week 2), The Knowledge of Life.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Dear Lord, Thou art the Tree of Life, / The very life supply; / Thy fruits, replete with life divine, / Our hunger satisfy. / Thou art the true and heav’nly Vine, / Our very source of life; / By Thee we live, in Thee abide, / And rest from all our strife. (Hymns #198)
# Life is God the Father in Christ Jesus / As the Spirit flowing into us. / How enjoyable, this Person wonderful! / He’s our life so rich and bountiful. (Hymns #1193)
# And He showed me a river / Of water of life, / Bright as crystal, / Proceeding out / Of the throne of God / And of the Lamb. / And Thou shalt make them to drink / Of the river of Thy pleasures. (Scripture song)
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