We all have to realize the reality of the tree of life. God’s intention is to present Himself to us as the tree of life. We not only eat of this tree, but we also are abiding in this tree. Not only do we take something of the tree into us, but we also have become a part of the tree. By drinking of the Lord and by feeding on Him, we become a part of Him; we become the branches of the tree. For the branches to absorb the life-juice of the tree is the real drinking. The branches are drinking of the tree and eating of the tree by absorbing the life-juice of the tree. The branches absorb all that the tree is and has and also abide in the tree, have their existence in the tree. Without the tree the branches can do nothing, and they cannot even live or exist. It is in the tree that they have their existence.
This tree in which we have our existence is the Triune God. The Word that was God became flesh, died, and resurrected, being transfigured into a life-giving Spirit. Today the processed Triune God is the life-giving Spirit. What a wonderful fact that today there is such a life-giving Spirit! The Triune God has passed through many processes to become an all-inclusive dose so available to each one of us. This universal, eternal life-giving Spirit, who is Christ the Lord, is waiting for man to receive Him. As many as receive Him, He gives them the authority to become children of God. Now we need to learn how to drink of Him and how to feed on Him, and then we have to abide in Him. We have to realize that we are His branches. We have to feed on Him in the way of absorbing all that He is to us. If we will abide in Him, absorbing all that He is, we will experience the killing element within Him. In the all-inclusive dose, there is the germ-killing element, dealing with our flesh, our self, Satan, and the world.
The more you try to put yourself to death by reckoning yourself to be dead, the more you will be alive. Brother Watchman Nee once told us that a person can commit suicide in many ways, but no one can commit suicide by means of crucifixion. To be crucified there is the need of others to put you on the cross. You cannot nail yourself to the cross. Forget about putting yourself to death. Just feed on Him and abide in Him. The more you absorb the life-juice of Christ as the tree of life, the more you will sense the killing element within you.
The Triune God is the tree of life to us, and we can share of this tree of life because of His incarnation plus His death and resurrection. By His incarnation He brought God into man, and by His death and resurrection He has brought man into God. Also, by His death and resurrection He became a Spirit; He was transfigured from the flesh into the Spirit, a life-giving Spirit. This life-giving Spirit brings God into us and brings us into God. He grafts us into Christ, the universal tree, to make us branches of this tree. Now we need to enjoy all that He is. Through our abiding and our enjoying Him, the church will come into existence as the real expression of the Triune God. Out of our enjoyment and experience of the tree of life, God’s eternal purpose will be fulfilled. How important it is that we know this tree of life and that we experience this tree of life in such a living way!
(Excerpt from The Tree of Life, ch. 7)