The Tree of Life, Chap 6, Section 1 of 3




Scripture Reading: Lev. 2:7-107:14-15


The entire sixty-six books of the Bible are the Holy Spirit’s revelation (John 16:13) and are the speaking from God by men borne by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21). The entire Bible was inspired by the one Spirit and was written with a definite purpose to show us God’s heart’s desire. To acquire the divine insight into the Bible in its entirety is not an easy task. Matthew 22 records that one day the Sadducees came to question the Lord concerning the matter of resurrection. They did not believe that there was a resurrection. The Lord told them that they did not know the Scriptures nor the power of God (v. 29), and He answered them in this way: “Concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (vv. 31-32).

As God is the God of the living and is called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, so the dead Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be resurrected. This is the way the Lord Jesus handled the Scriptures—not only by the letter but by the life and power implied within them. From the divine title of God as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lord Jesus saw the truth, the fact, of resurrection. It is not so easy to understand the Bible in such an inner way and in such a living way. Apparently, there is nothing to see in this title, but in such a title there is the truth of resurrection because God could not be the God of a dead person. If God is the God of Abraham, who has died, Abraham will be resurrected because He is not the God of the dead but of the living. [124]


The Lord needs to bring us into the understanding of the Scriptures in an inner and living way to see what is on His heart. After the creation of man, God presented Himself to man as the tree of life for man to eat. The only thing God desired man to do was to feed on Him, to partake of Him as the tree of life. He wanted man to take Him in as life, to learn how to live, how to exist, by the tree of life. Without eating, a person cannot exist. You may have life, but your life cannot last without your eating. In presenting Himself to man as the tree of life, God’s intention was for man to learn how to live by depending on God, by taking God as his daily supply and as his entire supply. Most of us eat three meals a day for our life supply. We live, exist, by eating. God did not command man to do anything but to eat. Man has to take care of his eating. If he eats in a right way, he will be right. If he eats in a wrong way, he will be wrong. If you eat something of life, you will have life. If you eat something of death, you will have death. The Christian life is not merely a matter of doing or working but a matter of partaking of God as the tree of life. This point was clearly made by the Lord Jesus in John 6 where He said that He was the bread of life (v. 35) and that the one who ate Him would live because of Him (v. 57).


The tree of life was the first item presented by God to man, but after man’s fall God made coats of skin of the sacrifice for Adam and his wife and clothed them. The coats fully covered them, which means that God justified them (Gen. 3:21). To be justified means to be covered with the righteousness of God, which is Christ Himself. In order to make coats of the skin of the lambs, God probably killed the lambs in the presence of Adam and Eve. Their putting on of the coats of skin was based upon the shedding of the blood of the sacrifice, for the sacrificial lamb became a substitute for sinful man. Before the fall in Genesis 2 is the tree of life presented to man by God. After the fall in Genesis 3 is the lamb, the sacrifice, offered to man by God. The tree of life in Genesis 2 changed to a lamb in Genesis 3. The tree of life is Christ, and the lamb is Christ. These two items are one. Because of the fall the tree of life had to become the lamb. [125]

In John 6 the Lord Jesus said that He is the bread of life. The bread of life equals the tree of life. Both of these items are of the plant life, the vegetable life. But in the same chapter where the Lord Jesus spoke about eating Him as the bread of life, He also said, “My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink” (v. 55). In a physical sense bread cannot have blood. But according to the spiritual reality, the bread of life includes the blood. This is because the bread of life without the blood could never be eaten by us. The tree of life was closed to us by the fall, but it is opened to us by the Lamb with His redeeming blood.

After the fall the Lamb is the first item of our enjoyment of God in both the Old and New Testaments. All the other items of the enjoyment of the Lord follow and come out of this first item. Even in eternity in the New Jerusalem, Christ will still be the eternal Lamb of God (Rev. 21:2222:1). In Revelation the Lamb is the lamp, and within the lamp is God as the light (21:23). Whatever God is as our portion for our enjoyment is in the Lamb, who is the lamp. We must enjoy Him first as the Lamb of God. After the presentation of the tree of life to man, from Genesis 3 through Exodus 12 there is the Lamb of God for the enjoyment of His chosen people.


Now we have to go on to see something more, something richer, something deeper, and something higher than enjoying Christ as the Lamb of God. After the book of Exodus is the book of Leviticus with all the offerings. All the offerings are based on two things—on the tree of life, the vegetable life, and on the lamb, the animal life. All the offerings are composed of these two kinds of lives. The burnt offering is of the animal life, but the meal offering is of the vegetable life (2:7-10). The animal life is for redeeming, and the vegetable life is for generating, for nourishing. All of the offerings, such as the sin offering, the trespass offering, the burnt offering, the meal offering, and the peace offering, were enjoyed in the outer court of the tabernacle. These offerings are types of Christ as the unique offering. In the Holy Place there were the table with the bread of the Presence, the lampstand with the light, and the golden incense altar with the incense. The table, the stand, and the altar are Christ, and the bread of the Presence, the light, and the incense are Christ. All [126] the offerings are Christ, all the furniture in the Holy Place is Christ, and all the items related to the furniture are Christ.

© Living Stream Ministry, 2021, used by permission