IV. THE SELF BEING INDEPENDENT OF GOD
The self is independent of God (Matt. 16:23-24). It does not care for God’s will or for God’s interest.
V. THE SELF BEING THE EMBODIMENT OF
THE SOULISH LIFE, ONE WITH SATAN, AND EXPRESSED THROUGH THE MIND— OPINIONATED THOUGHTS
In this point there are three subpoints. First, the self is the embodiment of the soulish life. Second, it is one with Satan. Third, it is expressed through the mind, which is actually the opinionated thoughts (Matt. 16:23-24). We have seen already that the fallen soul is the source of the self, so the self is just the soul. The self is the embodiment of the soulish life.
At man’s fall, Satan not only entered into man’s body but also entered into man’s soul. This is because Eve firstly accepted Satan’s thought into her mind (Gen. 3:1-5). Then she ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which entered into her body (v. 6). Before the fruit entered into her body, Satan’s thought had already entered into her mind. Therefore, the fallen soul is one with Satan. This is also based upon what we see in Matthew 16, where the Lord rebuked Peter by calling him "Satan" (v. 23). At that time Peter was in the self, in his soulish life, so he became Satan. This proves that the self is one with Satan.
After addressing Peter as "Satan," the Lord said, "You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men." This shows that the self, which is one with Satan, is expressed through the mind as opinionated thoughts. Thus, Matthew 16:23-24 shows us that the self is the embodiment of the soulish life, is one with Satan, and is expressed through the mind, that is, the opinionated thoughts. The mind is the channel, the means, for the self to express itself.
(Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)