GOD’S CREATING OF MAN IN HIS IMAGE
INDICATING THAT GOD WANTS MAN TO HAVE HIM
AS LIFE SO THAT MAN CAN EXPRESS HIM
God’s intention is to work Himself into His creatures that He may be life to His creatures. However, He cannot be life to the plants or the animals. He can be life only to the highest created life, the life that is after His kind (Gen. 1:26-27). This is man. Thus, man is a vessel that God may put Himself into His creation in order to have a beautiful expression. This is God’s intention, but it has not yet been completed. Today we are in the process of being mingled with God. Eventually, through this mingling God will have a complete and full expression.
GOD’S PUTTING MAN BEFORE THE TREE OF LIFE
INDICATING THAT GOD DESIRES THAT MAN
WOULD TAKE HIM, SIGNIFIED
BY THE TREE OF LIFE, AS MAN’S LIFE
In Genesis 1, three main categories of life are unveiled, and in Genesis 2:8-9 the tree of life, signifying the divine life, is revealed. Hence, in the first two chapters of Genesis, four kinds of life are mentioned: the plant life, the animal life, the human life, and the divine life. The highest of these four lives is the divine life. God’s intention is that the human life have the divine life. The plant life has the plant life, and the animal life has the animal life. But the human life should have the human life mingled with the divine life.
The human life and the divine life may be considered as lives that are similar in kind. When two plants are to be grafted together, they must be similar in kind. A peach tree and an apple tree are similar in kind to one another, but a banana tree is different in kind from a peach or apple tree. Therefore, a branch from a banana tree cannot be grafted into a peach tree. Man and God are of the same kind. Man bears the image of God (1:26-27). We are men, but we look like God. Because man is after God’s kind, man and God can be grafted together. The product of the mingling of these two lives is a human-divine life. The unbelievers have only the human life, but we as believers have the human-divine life. Christ is the God-man, God mingled with man; we are men mingled with God.
The Created Lives Working Together
for the Expression of the Divine Life
The plant life is for the existence of the animal life, the animal life is for the existence of the human life, and the human life is for the expression of the divine life. Eventually, these three lives all work together for the expression of God.
Although the plant life is food for the animal life, the plant life itself is mainly for beauty and decoration. Whenever I go sightseeing, I like to go to the mountains or to the riverside because in these places there are many kinds of trees and flowers. The beauty of the earth is in its flowers. A garden without flowers is not a garden. In God’s eyes the earth is His garden, and it is His zoo as well. The plants are for beauty, and the animals are for living, for activities. The earth is full of animals, such as lions, tigers, wolves, and dogs. There are also large, tall trees, such as the pine tree, and vines full of clusters of grapes. The plants are beautiful, the animals are full of activity, and man is full of wisdom to administer everything. According to God’s ordination, the whole earth is under man’s direction. Man is the head, the administrator, of all creation. The earth is in a beautiful, lively, and orderly situation. The plant life lives for the animal life, the animal life exists for the human life, and the human life lives for the expression of the divine life.
(The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)