THE NEED TO DISCERN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KNOWLEDGE AND LIFE
The verses we have looked at thus far show us that knowledge is very close to life. Satan is so subtle. He causes people to focus on items such as law, work, word, guides, knowledge, teaching, and the letter of the Bible. There is nothing bad about these items. Some may ask, “What is wrong with the law, the divine logos, guides, knowledge, teaching, and the letter of the Bible?” May the Lord be merciful to us that we may discern the difference between knowledge and life. The tree of knowledge is not only related to evil but also to good. It is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I believe that the tree of life and the tree of knowledge were very much the same in appearance (Gen. 2:9; cf. 3:6). In his subtlety Satan always turns us to the tree of knowledge and away from the tree of life. The Bible says that we were regenerated through the living word, but we may not see the word living. The Bible says we need fathers, but we may be looking for guides or instructors. The Bible uses the term healthy teaching, but we may drop the word healthy when we talk about teaching.
We need to see the difference between knowledge and life in the verses we have pointed out. We must see the contrast between law and life, between the constant word and the instant words of life, between the logos and the living logos, between the guides and the fathers, between knowledge and love, between teaching and healthy teaching, between letter and Spirit, and between the Scriptures in themselves and the living Lord. All the verses we have discussed show us that the tree of knowledge is still with us today. The local church is something of life, but the teaching concerning the local church may only be knowledge. We want the local churches but not the mere doctrinal teaching concerning the local churches. If we only take the teaching regarding certain items, this teaching becomes the knowledge that kills.
We need to be impressed that in both the Old and New Testaments, there are the tree of life and the tree of knowledge, and these two trees are still with us today. We need to pray, “O Lord, be merciful to me. I do not want to care for knowledge because knowledge brings in death. Keep me focused on the tree of life.” Many times we may have been deceived unconsciously. The subtle one, Satan, may creep in to distract us from the tree of life with the best knowledge. Regardless of how good the knowledge is, it is still the knowledge that kills.
We need to thank and praise the Lord that He is life to us. We should not care for what is good or evil, right or wrong, according to the tree of knowledge, but we need to focus our entire being on the flow of life. What good is it to be right in our doctrine and be dead? May the Lord open our eyes to see what He is after today. Today the Lord desires a group of people to enjoy Him as life. He presented Himself as life that we might have life and might have it more abundantly. By His mercy, our eyes need to be opened to see what kind of damage the tree of knowledge has brought in. We should not care for knowledge but for life.
In the beginning was the Word, who was God. In Him was life, and He became the Lamb of God to take away our sins. The Lamb became the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b) to impart Himself as life into our being. Day by day and moment by moment, we need to contact Him. When we contact the Bible, we need to contact Him not merely by exercising our mind but by exercising our spirit. When we exercise our spirit to touch the Word, we touch the tree of life. The tree of life and the tree of knowledge are still with us today. These two trees are very close to one another. We have to be aware so that we take in only life and not the deadening knowledge. We have to be on the alert so that we will not be deceived.
(The Crucial Revelation of Life in the Scriptures, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)