There are many different beings in the universe, but only three are vital. The first is God. The second is man. The third is Satan.
The Bible, it is often said, is a revelation of God. Surely this is true. But the Bible also reveals man. Without the Bible we do not know what man is. We may have read the great philosophers’ writings, but if we do not know the Bible, we still do not know what man is. We do not know where we came from nor where we are going; we do not know where we are; we do not know what human life is; and we do not know the purpose of human life.
Philosophy does not have these answers. I have read the writings of some of the Chinese philosophers; to me they are foolish, not wise. Plato and Socrates are also philosophically foolish. Confucius, for example, said that if a man sins against heaven (that is, God), he has no way to be forgiven. Is this not foolish? The Bible strongly tells us that our sins may be forgiven.
If we want to know ourselves, we can find our biography in the Bible. Here we learn where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. These things we need to know so that we may fulfill our role in the universe.
Satan is the third vital figure in the universe. There are other secondary characters, like angels; but God, man, and Satan are the primary ones.
Over the years you may have heard a good many messages in the recovery. I wonder, however, if you young people realize what God’s eternal intention is for you. Christians, even though they are God’s saved and regenerated children, are for the most part unaware of what God’s intention is for them. You may be very familiar with the Bible yet still miss its central point. You may have heard what it is and thought that you saw it, but still you may not really have grasped it. Since I came to the United States, I might have given about three thousand messages along this line. I repeat it from different angles over and over again. Yet it bothers me that I see so few living daily according to this eternal intention.
God’s eternal intention is to enter into you and become your life. He wants to make you one with Him that you may live Him. Eventually He becomes your life, and you become His living. You may say that you already know this. You may think it is simple. It is simple, but not practical to you. It does not apply to your daily living.
Man was made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). What image and likeness mean we shall not consider now. However, notice that it is said only of man. All the other created things were to bring forth after their kind (Gen. 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25). The cat is after the cats’ kind; an apple is after the apples’ kind. After what kind is man? Man does not have his own kind. Man is after the kind of God! He bears the image of God. We were not made in the image of a turtle, or a monkey, or a donkey. Even though we are fallen, we are nonetheless a man, bearing the image of God.
What is the image of God? The New Testament tells us that Christ is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15). When He came and dwelt among men, He expressed love, kindness, mercy, grace, and light. For man to be created in the likeness of God means that he was created in the form of God’s virtues. The loving God created love in man. The merciful God created mercy in man. Man thus possesses mercy and love; he has all the virtues God has.
(God's Eternal Intention and Satan's Counterplot, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)