Life-Study of Exodus

Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0397-9
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 88 of 185 Section 1 of 4

LIFE-STUDY OF EXODUS

MESSAGE EIGHTY-EIGHT

THE ARK OF THE TESTIMONY

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Scripture Reading: Exo. 25:17-22

In this message we shall continue to consider the significance of the ark of the testimony, especially the propitiatory cover on the ark, for our spiritual experience. In the foregoing message we saw that the ark with the propitiatory cover sprinkled by the redeeming blood is a portrait of the Christ who dwells in our spirit.

OPENING THE WAY
TO THE TREE OF LIFE

Although the record in 25:17-22 is brief, it involves a lengthy historical background. In eternity God, for the fulfillment of His eternal purpose, created the heavens and the earth with man as the center. According to Zechariah 12:1, the Lord stretched forth the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him. The spirit of man is the organ to receive God and contain Him. Because God’s intention is to dispense Himself into man, man needs a spirit in order to receive God.

Before God dispensed Himself into man’s spirit, Satan intervened to inject himself into the man created by God. When man ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Satan entered into man. In Romans chapters five, six, and seven, indwelling sin refers to Satan who injected himself into man. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin; and so death passed to all men because all have sinned.” The tree of life in the garden indicates that God’s intention is to dispense Himself into man to be man’s life. However, God knew that His enemy would act first to work himself into man. Satan as this evil source is indicated by another tree, called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When man ate of this tree, he was poisoned by Satan. In fact, Satan became the sinful nature of fallen man. Because man had fallen by eating of the tree of knowledge, God closed the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:24 says, “So he drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”

In the book of Revelation we once again read of the tree of life. In Revelation 2:7 the Lord Jesus makes this declaration: “To him who overcomes, to him I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 22:2, 14, and 19 also speak of the tree of life. Verse 14 says, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have right to the tree of life.” All these verses indicate that something has happened to open the way to the tree of life.

Who opened the way? How was the way opened, and when? In Hebrews 10:19 and 20 we have the answer to these questions: “Having therefore, brothers, boldness for entering the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He dedicated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh.” The living way, the way to the tree of life, has been opened by the blood of Jesus. This opened way has now become the new and living way for us to come into the Holy of Holies. Therefore, through the redeeming blood of Christ we can once again enjoy the tree of life.

A certain well-known Bible teacher has said that the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were both unusual trees, but that he could not say much about these trees because they are no longer in existence. According to this Bible teacher, these two trees have been removed from the scene. But according to the Bible, the tree of life will exist for eternity. Nineteen hundred years ago, when the Lord put forth the epistles to the seven churches, He promised that the overcomers would be given to eat of the tree of life. If this tree were no longer in existence, if it had been removed from the scene, how would it be possible for the overcomers to eat of it? How could all the believers have access to it in the New Jerusalem?

Many believers today have religion, ethics, and morality. But in their experience they do not have the tree of life. As far as they are concerned, it seems that the tree of life does not exist. Hallelujah, we have the tree of life, and we eat of this tree and enjoy it! We praise the Lord for the new and living way back to the tree of life through the redeeming blood of Christ. If we would properly appreciate the Christ who lives in us, we need to understand this historical background.


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