Life-Study of Genesisby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message I have the burden to cover, as a parenthesis, the principle of the tree of life throughout the Scriptures. We have pointed out many times that almost everything in the first two chapters of Genesis has been sown there as a seed and that this seed grows gradually in the following books of the Bible, appearing as a crop in the New Testament and ripening as a harvest in the book of Revelation. This is a basic principle of the divine Word. God was very economical in writing the Bible, not wasting a single word. He used every word in a most economical way. Furthermore, God's revelation is consistent throughout the Scriptures. Therefore, whatever we find in the beginning of the Bible we also find throughout the Bible and at the end.
The record of the two trees in Genesis 2, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge, is not merely ancient history, for these two trees are still with us today. If we read the Bible carefully we will discover that throughout the Bible we have two linesthe line of the tree of life and the line of the tree of knowledge. We may refer to them in brief as the line of life and the line of knowledge. These two lines began at the book of Genesis and continue through the subsequent books of the Bible until they reach their destination. As we pointed out in message thirteen, the destination of the line of life will be the New Jerusalem, where the tree of life appears once again. The river of the water of life is also found in the New Jerusalem, for it flows throughout the entire city. Thus, the New Jerusalem, a city of living water, is the ultimate consummation of the line of the tree of life. The line of knowledge will conclude with the lake of fire, a vivid contrast to the city of New Jerusalem. The city is a city of living water; the lake is a lake of burning fire.
According to the revelation in the Bible, we see two streams proceeding out of the throne of God. One is the stream of living water, and the other is a stream of fire. The stream of living water is revealed in Ezekiel 47 and Revelation 22. In Ezekiel living water issues out of the house of God; in Revelation 22 living water flows out of the throne of God. In Daniel 7:9-10 we see another stream, a stream of fire, flowing out of the throne of God. The living water is for reviving and watering, but the stream of fire is for judging. It courses in judgment throughout the universe. The river of water proceeds out of the throne of God and will flow all positive things into the New Jerusalem. The stream of fire issues out of the throne of God and will sweep all negative things into the lake of fire. In the beginning of the Bible we have the start of two lines, the line of life and the line of knowledge. At the end of the Bible we have two results, two consummationsthe city of living water and the lake of burning fire.
Where are you and where are you going? Which line are you on? The line of life is certainly the right line, but the line of knowledge is the wrong line. As redeemed people we are surely on the right line, the line of life. However, it is possible that our walk and our workthat is, the way we live and work for Godmight be on the wrong line. Although as persons we may be on the line of life, our walk and work may be on the line of knowledge. The Bible firstly warns people to stay away from the line of knowledge and remain on or return to the line of life. Once we are saved, we are eternally saved, and our salvation is eternally secure. Nevertheless, the Bible warns us concerning our daily walk and our work for the Lord. In Galatians Paul warns us to walk in the Spirit (5:16) and to sow to the Spirit (6:7-8). Otherwise, everything we do will be consumed by fire. In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul cautions us, the builders of the churches, to be careful to build with the proper materials. If we build the church with gold, silver, and precious stones, this work will continue unto the New Jerusalem, because the New Jerusalem is a city built with gold, pearl, and precious stones. On the other hand, Paul warns us that the wood, grass, and straw are only useful for burning (1 Cor. 3:12-15). Everything that is built with those materials will be swept by the stream of fire into the lake of fire. Thus, we must be careful about ourselves, our walk, and our work. We ourselves must stay on the right line, and our daily walk and work must also be on the right line. Then we and our work will enter the New Jerusalem. We need to be very clear about these two lines. In this message, I shall cover the line of life and in the following message the line of knowledge.
Many times I have been bothered by the fact that the tree of life appeared for a short while in Genesis 2 and that it was closed off from man at the end of Genesis 3. Apparently the tree of life has been closed to man; actually through the promised redemption it has been available throughout the ages for God's people to touch, enjoy, and experience. Now in a very simple way I want to give you many of the positive persons on this line of life. We do not begin with Adam, who was fallen and redeemed. We begin with Abel.
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