God’s creation is for Him to be one with man. This is the first item of God’s economy strongly revealed in Genesis 1. Genesis 1 is a long chapter telling us how God created many things. Eventually, He created man in His own image and after His own likeness (v. 26). This indicates that God, in His economy, through creation, wants to be one with man. This is the first point of the greatest and highest vision. Genesis 1 contains only one major point, that is, in God’s creation, His intention is to be one with man.
In the first section of His creation, God created man only in His image and after His likeness outwardly, without the life of God inwardly.
The second section of God’s creation begins with His making a spirit for man and putting man in front of the tree of life (Gen. 2:7-9). This second section is a picture of God’s new creation, which starts with man’s spirit and with the tree of life, signifying that God is to be taken by man through man’s spirit, that man may have God’s divine life. At the end of the first section of God’s creation, there was a repose, a Sabbath. Then the second section of God’s creation, which becomes God’s new creation, begins with two things: man’s spirit and God as life to be received by man through his spirit.
God’s making a spirit for man and putting man in front of the tree of life indicate that God wanted man to receive Him as the tree of life to be man’s life and everything.
From the place of the tree of life, a river is flowing and producing gold, bdellium, and onyx stone (Gen. 2:10-12). This indicates that the flow of the life of God in the believers transforms them to be the three kinds of precious materials for the building of the Body of Christ as God’s eternal goal (1 Cor. 3:12; Rev. 21:18-21).
There are only three places in the Bible which mention three kinds of materials: Genesis 2, 1 Corinthians 3, and Revelation 21. Genesis 2 speaks of gold, bdellium (pearl), and onyx stone, a precious stone. First Corinthians 3 says that we must be careful how we build up God’s building. We have to build it with gold, silver, and precious stones (v. 12). Eventually, at the end of the Bible, the consummation of God’s building is the New Jerusalem built with gold, pearl, and precious stones.
This is a great vision to show us that after man receives God’s life, this life flows in and out of man as a river of living water to produce transformed material. Man has been regenerated in his spirit by receiving God as life, but his soul remains in the old creation of God. This soul has to be transformed into precious material. Gold signifies God’s divine nature, pearl signifies Christ’s redeeming and life-releasing death and His life-imparting resurrection, and precious stones signify the work of the transforming Spirit.
The New Testament stresses transformation. First, the New Testament shows us the regeneration of man’s spirit to receive God as life. Then following this the New Testament stresses that we need to be transformed in our mind (Rom. 12:2). This indicates that transformation transpires in our soul to make us a new man. Our soul was an old man of the old creation, but after our spirit has been regenerated, our soul is then transformed from the old creation into the new creation to be a new man.
None of the living creatures was qualified to be Adam’s counterpart (Gen. 2:20), indicating that no natural life is qualified to match Christ as His counterpart. The man of the old creation has nothing to do with Christ, especially to be Christ’s counterpart, Christ’s wife.
(The Triune God's Revelation and His Move, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)