E. LIFE AS THE MEANS AND EATING AS THE WAY
According to Genesis 1, God created man in His image with the intention of dispensing Himself into man. The way this dispensing is carried out is portrayed in chapter two of Genesis. God’s way to dispense Himself into man is through man’s eating of Him as the tree of life. The eating of the tree of life implies two things: first, that life is the means for God to dispense Himself into us; second, that eating is the way God is dispensed into us. If we would have God’s dispensing, we need both life as the means and eating as the way.
The matter of eating is found throughout the Bible, from the beginning in Genesis to the end in Revelation. We have the tree of life in Genesis 2, and we have the tree of life again in Revelation 22. Between Genesis 2 and Revelation 22 there is a line related to eating. At the time of the Passover the children of Israel ate the meat of the lamb in order to receive the life supply (Exo. 12:3-5, 8-9). Then in the wilderness they were sustained by manna (Exo. 16:14-15). Manna was their food, and by eating manna they received the supply of life. Eventually, the children of Israel entered into the good land, and there they enjoyed the rich produce of the land (Josh. 5:12). Three times a year the people came together to eat the produce of the good land before God and with God. In their feasts they were eating, and God was eating as well.
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus in John 6 says that He is the bread of life and that we need to eat Him (vv. 35, 51, 56-57). If we eat Him as the bread of life, we shall live by Him. Paul speaks also about eating the spiritual food in his Epistles. In 1 Corinthians 10:3 he says, “All ate the same spiritual food.” In Revelation 2:7 and 22:14 the Lord speaks about eating the tree of life.
The record regarding the spiritual eating in the Bible is a strong indication and implication that God intends to dispense Himself into our being by means of life and by the way of eating. God is life to us, and the way we take Him as life is to eat Him. God is our food, and we eat Him. God is not only our food—He is our feast. This is revealed in the Scriptures.
God is not mainly teaching us but dispensing Himself into us. God’s dispensing is a divine feeding. God is constantly feeding us. He feeds us with Himself as food.
During the past centuries there have been those who received God’s dispensing, the saints who contacted God all the time. Even though they may not have known the word “dispensing” or had the adequate knowledge about eating God, they took God into them as their food. For the most part, they ate God by eating the Word. The Word conveys God as its content. Apart from God as the content of the Word, the Word is empty. Hence, to eat the words of the Bible is actually to eat God conveyed in the Word. In the past, the godly ones who spent much time contacting God spontaneously and even unconsciously were under God’s dispensing. The aspects of God’s person and the items of His attributes are infused into us as the ingredients of God as our food by His dispensing. We may not be able to remember all the aspects of God’s person or all the items of His attributes, but as long as we are under His dispensing, these ingredients are infused into us. Simply eat God, and all that He is and has will be dispensed into you. Eating is the way to experience God’s dispensing for His expression.
(Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 001-020), Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)