God's Eternal Intention and Satan's Counterplot, by Witness Lee


Man fell. Before the tree of life got into man, the second tree entered into him. Was this an emergency? It may seem so to us, but God waited.

Many years went by. After two thousand years, He came to Abraham, promising him that in his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Gen. 22:18). Another two thousand years went by. Four thousand years after the fall, God came. He came into man by the birth at Bethlehem. Isaiah 9:6 says that that child’s name was the mighty God. The mighty God became a human child! That human child was the Son; that Son was called the eternal Father. His name is Wonderful!

When the Lord Jesus came, He lived among thousands of men who had the second tree, the satanic life, growing in them. Do you remember what He called the Pharisees? These people were respected as highly moral and religious. Jesus, however, called them vipers (Matt. 12:34; 23:33) and serpents. The Devil was their father (John 8:44). The Lord Jesus knew that all Adam’s fallen descendants were children of Satan. Because Satan was growing in them, they lied, committed fornication, stole, hated, and murdered. When the Lord came to this earth, wherever He went He saw sins, sicknesses, and diseases. Satan had fully saturated mankind. He was not only among men but within them. He was like an incurable cancer, spreading in their cells.

What shall we say about American society? It too is filled with the Devil. This seems to be a great Christian country, but actually it is permeated with Satan. Satan is growing in every part of American society. Not only in Hollywood, but in the department stores, in the hairstyles, and in the clothing, Satan is growing. Before we were saved, we were growing together with Satan. Even afterwards, because we are short of grace, we are still sometimes growing with Satan. A tree that brings death, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, is growing in humankind.

But there was One born among men as a little babe. He grew to be a child and then a young man, growing all the time with God. He was a God-man. He was the only One. How could He become many? He Himself told us. He was a grain of wheat, falling into the ground and dying, thus bringing forth many grains (John 12:24). He went to the cross and died. He was buried. On the third day He arose. We all arose with Him. He has imparted His life into all who believe in Him. Now we are all His members and God-men like Him.

God-man is not a heretical term. It has been used by a number of Christian writers. Moses was called a man of God (Psa. 90, title). Paul called Timothy a man of God (1 Tim. 6:11). He did not call him a man of good; he was not to express good but rather God.


Every life is a law. Every tree is a law. The law comes from the tree. When the tree of life enters into us, it becomes a law. The tree of good and evil also becomes a law within us. Since we have two trees growing within us, we have two laws, not as commandments but as set-up principles. These laws of nature work within us, not by activities but by law. Our stomach digests food according to law. It does not refuse to digest our food if we offend it! When we have eaten, whether we have offended our stomach or not, it spontaneously carries on the digestive process. Digestion is according to law, not activity.

There are two laws working within us. One is Satan, called sin by Paul. “For the good which I will, I do not; but the evil I do not will, this I practice. But if what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that do it but sin that dwells in me” (Rom. 7:19-20). He is using the term sin in a personified sense here. Like a person, sin can deceive (v. 11), kill (v. 11), dwell within (vv. 17, 20), and do evil contrary to one’s will (v. 20). This is Satan in our nature, in our flesh. This sin is a satanic life within a satanic nature. It is a law, the law of sin and of death. It works within us by law unto death.

But we have another law! This law is the Triune God, after being processed through incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. He is now the Spirit indwelling our spirit. He is a law, the law of the Spirit of life, working within us not by activity. If a building has no electricity, we can have light only by an activity. Once electricity has been installed, however, it works by law. We do not need to beg the power plant to give us light. All we need to do is turn on the switch. Electricity is complicated, but once it is installed it is easy to apply and practical to use.

The two trees in Genesis are the two laws in Romans.

(God's Eternal Intention and Satan's Counterplot, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)