GOD, THE DEVIL, AND MAN
What is life? John 1:4 says that in Him is life. First John says that he who has the Son has life (5:12). Whenever we come into contact with God, we have life. Life is versus death, in the same way that God is versus the devil. In the whole Bible, there are only these three things: God, the devil, and man. These three things stand as three separate entities. When man contacts God, there is life. When man contacts the devil, there is death. Everything with God is real, and nothing is false. Everything with Satan is unreal; he pretends to be good, and he pretends to give knowledge. A man may be touching something that he considers good, but within that something is death.
What did man touch in the garden of Eden? He touched the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The result was that he received Satan into his being, and he became fallen. Satan is the evil one, the one who holds the power of death. The meaning of the fall is that Satan entered into man. The meaning of salvation is that Satan is driven out and God has entered in. Ephesians 2 says that within the unbelievers there is the operation of the evil spirits. Christ said once that we were of our father, and our father was Satan. This is why some people say that those who gamble are "gambling-demons," and those who take opium are "opium-demons." When a man sins many times, eventually the devil is lived out of that man. When you go into the casino, the people you see do not look like human beings; everyone looks like a devil. Before a man is saved, it is the devil that is living in him. Such ones may be honest on the outside, but they are deceitful on the inside. Who is inside of them? It is the devil who is inside of them. Many times, a person cannot control himself. This is because Satan is living within him. Man has been mingled with the devil.
Now man has become very complicated. Within us, it seems that there are three persons: God, Satan, and man. You are like a little garden of Eden, and you are standing before two trees. We are saying all these things to show you that today the garden of Eden is within you. These two trees are within you.
THREE KINDS OF LIVING
What is your attitude toward the knowledge of good and evil today? Christianity today has degraded. All that the ones there know is that evil is death; they do not know that good is also death. They do not know these two trees.
For example, a brother may become angry with his wife in the evening, and he may beat his wife. If you see this, you will say that he is an evil person. The next morning, he may become humble, and you will say that he is a good man. In the afternoon, he may fellowship with the Lord and live in His presence. When you see him, you will sense that he is neither an evil man nor a good man, but a God-man. Why do you have such a sense? It is because with him, there is the taste of God. This man has allowed God to rule over him and to live out of him.
I hate two kinds of people. The first is the proud ones, and the second is the falsely humble ones. Perhaps the second kind is worse than the first kind. Notwithstanding, whether a person is humble or proud, our question is this: Which tree is his source? In God’s eyes, knowledge, good, and evil are all death. Very few people can discern this matter.
With some people, a person does not sense any good or evil in them. He only senses the taste of God in them. They are persons living in God. They do not know what is good and what is evil. They do not know what it is to be proud and what it is to be humble. They are people who live in life. Suppose you see a brother loving others, and you ask him why he loves. If he says that the Bible tells us to do so, it is wrong. If he says that God tells him to do so, it is right. The question today is whether we are living in God’s tree of life, or in something else.
Prayer: May the Lord work into our being the words released tonight, so that we become enlightened within, and so that the eyes of our heart may be opened.
(Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set), Chapter 15, by Watchman Nee/Witness Lee)