THE WAY TO BECOME HOLY
Now we need to find out how dusty man can be holy, how man with the nature of dust can be the same as God in His holy nature. The only way this can take place is for God to work Himself into man’s nature. For this reason, 2 Peter 1:4 tells us that we are partakers of the divine nature. After God created man, He placed him in front of the tree of life in order that His holy nature could enter into man through man’s eating of the fruit of this tree. As we all know, the tree of life denotes God Himself. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, God is likened to food. Only food is able to get into us and into our nature. All the foodstuffs you eat day by day become part of your nature. Eventually, they become you. Thus, we are the constitution of the various foodstuffs produced in this country. But this does not mean that if all these foodstuffs are put together, they automatically become us. No, in order for them to become us, we must take them into us and digest them. After we eat and digest them, they will become our fibers and even become us.
The Bible contains the basic concept that God is edible, that God is good for food. As the tree of life, God is to be eaten, not merely to be seen. Coming as the bread of life, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35); He also said, “He who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me” (v. 57). Hallelujah, we can eat God!
Dietitians often tell us that we are what we eat. What we eat is constituted into us and becomes us. Some people even smell like the food they eat. For example, those who eat a great deal of garlic or fish may have the odor of garlic or fish. The only way for God’s holy nature to be wrought into our nature is by eating. God is edible, and eating Jesus is the unique way for us to have the holy nature of God.
THE NEED FOR REGENERATION
Years ago, I gave a message in a certain place in which I said that even if we were not fallen, we would still need to be regenerated. This message offended a certain preacher. He said, “No! How could one who has not fallen still need to be regenerated?” This question comes from the influence of his traditional Christian teachings which say that because we are fallen and corrupted and because we are incurable, hopeless cases, we need to be reborn. But the truth is that even if we were Adam in the garden of Eden, we would still need regeneration. No matter how perfect or sinless we might be, we would still be only good, not holy. We might be perfect, but we are not holy. Unless we have the holy nature of God, we cannot be holy. As we have pointed out, holiness is God’s nature. We may be clean, perfect, and sinless, but we are still dusty; we are not yet holy.
Ephesians 1:4 reveals God’s intention before the fall of man, before sin came in. It was not because God foreknew that man would become sinful that He determined to rescue us from our sinfulness and to make us perfect. No, according to His divine purpose, God decided in eternity past to choose us to be made holy. God chose us for the purpose that we might become holy. In other words, He chose us to become divine through our partaking of the divine nature. He wants to make the dusty man divine. This is what it means to be holy.
Now we need to consider what is meant by blemish. This word is used for a foreign substance sometimes found in precious stones. Suppose we have a diamond, but in the diamond there is some kind of foreign substance. A blemish denotes the mixture caused by the presence of a foreign substance. This substance may not be dirty or sinful. On the contrary, it may be perfect and sinless. However, it is different in nature. God’s intention is to make us thoroughly the same as He is in His nature. If there is still a foreign substance within us, we still have a blemish; that is, there is a mixture in our being. But God’s intention is to make us thoroughly holy and divine without any mixture. What a high standard this is! Every part of our disposition is a “blemish” simply because it is not the nature of God. Anything other than the nature of God is a blemish. Suppose someone has a lovable, gentle, humble disposition. Even such a lovable disposition is a blemish in God’s holiness. In God’s holiness there is nothing except His being. Anything of our being, no matter how good and lovable it may be, is a mixture and hence a blemish. The first item of God’s eternal purpose is to make us the same as He is in nature without any mixture. This is to become holy and without blemish.
(Basic Training, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)