October 19, 2019

The Second Great Pillar in the Lord’s Recovery—Life

The second great pillar in the Lord’s recovery is life. The line of life runs throughout the Bible, as indicated by the presence of the tree of life in Genesis 2 and in the holy city full of life in Revelation 21—22. While truth—the first great pillar—and life are not separate, they are distinct. Truth is the outward definition and explanation and life is the inward and intrinsic content. As we read God’s Word, we need to apprehend the truth and be filled with the divine life. This life makes us fit to carry out God’s economy to fulfill His eternal purpose. Truth involves the unveiling of God Himself and His heart’s desire, and life is the way and gives us the ability to fulfill that heart’s desire and burden. We should not only come to the full knowledge of the truth (1 Tim. 2:4) but also lay hold on the eternal life (6:19).

Christ being presented in the Bible as the tree of life shows us clearly that God wants us to take Him in as food. With the tree of life, there are several crucial matters. First, man’s access to the tree of life was cut off due to his disobedience to God and the sin element that entered him in the garden during the fall (Gen. 3:24). Today, however, if we wash our robes, we have the right to take of the tree of life again (Rev. 22:14). Praise the Lord for His redemption clearing the way for man to come back to the tree of life (Heb. 10:19-20). Yet even when we receive the Lord’s redemption and return to the tree of life as our life supply, there is still more the Lord desires of us. He wants us to become branches, to be joined, grafted into Him as the tree of life (John 15:5). The ultimate goal of God’s salvation is not merely redemption or even life supply but absolute oneness with Him.

Finally, we see in Ezekiel 47 the matter of life flowing out of the house of God as a river. This river shows us that we must be absolute for God’s house. Eventually, the river becomes so deep that all we can do is submit to its flow. This deepening comes through the Lord’s measuring of us. The only place the river cannot exert its life-giving effects are in the marshes or swamps. These regions that only receive an inflow but do not flow out symbolize those who are not absolute, not willing to be measured to the point of “waters to swim in” (v. 5). By the Lord’s mercy, may we take Him as the tree of life and the river of water of life and allow Him to measure us to the point that we are absolute for Him.

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