Judas was one of the twelve apostles, but he was always in his mind counting money (John 12:4-6). He was absolutely on the line of the killing knowledge and not at all on the line of life, even though he was with the Lord Jesus, who was then the tree of life. Since his mind was occupied with thoughts of money he opened himself to the Devil, who put into his heart the thought of betraying the Lord (John 13:2). Eventually, Satan entered into him (John 13:27), and he betrayed the Lord for thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:15). However, the result was that he gained no profit from the money, but that he lost himself in death by hanging (Matt. 27:5).
XXIV. THE JEWS
The Jews kept their law and sentenced the Lord Jesus to death according to it (John 19:7). They said, "We have a law, and according to our law he ought to die, because he made himself Son of God." According to their law, the Lord had blasphemed God in saying that He was His Son. Thus, they sentenced Him to death according to their law. We must be careful in using and in quoting the Bible. A great deal depends on whether we employ the Scriptures in the way of life or in the way of knowledge. The Scriptures should be the tree of life, which brings us life, but they can be the tree of knowledge, which brings us death. Even in using the Scriptures we have to be careful.
XXV. SAUL OF TARSUS
Saul of Tarsus was a foremost religionist. He was exceedingly zealous of the tradition of his fathers and surpassed many of his equals in the Jewish religion. As a result, he persecuted the church (Gal. 1:13-14). Religion, with its traditional knowledge, is always a persecutor of the living church. How did God turn Saul of Tarsus to the line of life? As Saul was persecuting the churches, God revealed the Son of God into him, and he came to live by Him (Gal. 1:16; 2:20). Saul was extremely religious. Although no one thinks that religion is wrong, it is altogether on the line of knowledge. Only as you turn to the living Christ will you be shifted from the line of knowledge to the line of life.
XXVI. THE CORINTHIANS
The Corinthian believers were enriched in all knowledge, but were puffed up and were still babes in Christ (1 Cor. 1:5; 8:1; 3:1). Knowledge will not help you grow a fraction of an inch; it will only keep you in your spiritual infancy. The more you cling to knowledge, the longer you will remain a babe in Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul turned them from knowledge to the growth in life that they might thereby experience transformation for God’s building (1 Cor. 3:6-12). Paul said, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God made to grow." He seemed to tell the Corinthians, "You don’t need any more knowledge. What you need is the growth in life. This growth in life is for the transformation which produces the precious materials for God’s building. You need the growth in life to transform you from being fleshly into being genuinely spiritual that you may become the precious stones for God’s building."
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)