THE GARDEN OF EDEN HAVING TWO TREES
This situation is the same as the situation in the garden of Eden. Adam was standing in front of the two trees—the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that he ate of it he would surely die (Gen. 2:17). What does the tree of the knowledge of good and evil denote? There was good and there was also evil. What is this? It is the law. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is in front of us every day. The law in front of us is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; God in front of us is the tree of life. Do not think that only Adam faced these two trees. We are in fact facing them daily. Unfortunately, we mistakenly think that we must reject that which is evil but must try to fulfill that which is good. This has resulted in man’s failure to reject the tree of the knowledge of good and evil throughout the ages.
BEING DEAD TO LAW
We consider ourselves to be capable of rejecting that which is evil and fulfilling that which is good. However, according to God’s command, we should touch neither good nor evil. Whenever we touch good and evil, we touch death. To be dead to law is to be dead to good and evil. We can understand what it means to be dead to evil, and it is also easy to do; however, to be dead to good is not easy. For example, when the thought of hatred comes, we deal with it by being dead. Of course, this is right. However, when love comes, should we also deal with it by being dead? We may have doubts. Therefore, please remember that God wants us to be dead in dealing with evil and with good as well. Whenever we draw nigh to God and touch God, unconsciously we have the thought of doing good. This comes between God and us. Being dead to the law means that we reject any good thought that enters into us, just as we reject any evil thought.
Because the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is beautiful and pleasant to the sight, when any good thought comes, we are always attracted to it. However, we have to be careful and afraid of that which is good, such as humility and meekness. As long as it is from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we have to be afraid of it. We only want the Lord Himself. Although humility and meekness are good, they are not the Lord; therefore, we do not want them. This is to be dead to law. We have to realize further that just as pride causes us to be severed from the Lord and to become independent of Him, so humility also can cause us to be severed from the Lord and to become independent of Him.
LIVING TO GOD
To live to God is to be filled with God and to have fellowship with God by putting aside all the ordinances of our human life as well as all our hopes, resolutions, and longings, so that God can have the ground in us to reign and operate in us, thereby living in us. If we live to the law, we are dead to God. If we maintain a relationship with the law, our relationship with God is severed. If we fellowship with God day by day and allow Him to live in us moment by moment, then we are dead to law, our relationship with the law is severed, and we are living to God. Living to God is not ordinances, hopes, letters, or methods, but it is the living God being our life within us. We need to contact Him every day and enjoy Him every moment so that He can be our life and power within to live with us and to lead us in walking the path before us. This is to be dead to law and living to God.
(Dead to Law but Living to God, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)