Book Review: The Tree of Life – by Witness Lee

*** This article is part of a blog series about what it means to live with Christ as our source. You can check out the Introduction to the series here. ***

For those of you who do not know Witness Lee, he was a co-worker of Watchmen Nee back in the early parts of the 20th century. They co-laboured in the raising up of local churches all over China, America and other parts of the world. Both of these men wrote a myriad of books. Witness Lee even managed to pen an entire commentary on the bible in his lifetime. Of the many books written by these men, the one’s written by Witness Lee are less well known. This little jewel of a book is amongst those hidden from the greater Christian community. And so, I am delighted to be creating a bit more awareness for it here on this blog.

The book was first published in 1987. Here is a description from the back cover:

When God created man, He placed him before two trees: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. In warning man to avoid the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God indicated His desire for man to eat of the tree of life, signifying that man should receive God as his life supply. Adam chose poorly, and was barred from the tree of life because of sin. Even today, Christians, those who have washed their robes that they may have right ot the tree of life (Rev. 22:14), often pursue good behaviour rather than receiving Christ, experiencing Christ, and enjoying Christ as their life supply.

In the Tree of Life, Witness Lee presents a view of God’s heart that is little understood and seldom experienced by believers today. God is not looking for well-behaved Christians; He is looking for those who will experience and enjoy Christ as the reality of the tree of life, fulfilling His eternal intention for man.

Contents

  1. The Way to Fulfill God’s purpose
  2. The Source and Consummation of the Two Trees
  3. The Tree of Life in the Gospel of John
  4. The Fatness of the Lord’s House
  5. The Fruit of the Tree of Life
  6. The Tree of Life for Transformation
  7. How the Last Adam Becomes the Tree of Life in Us
  8. How the Body, the Army, and the Dwelling Place of God Came into Being
  9. Christ Opens the Way to the Tree of Life
  10. God’s Purpose Fulfilled by the Growth of the Tree of Life within U
  11. How to Feast on the Tree of Life through the Word
  12. How to Feast on the Tree of Life through Prayer
  13. The Need to Be Poor in Spirit and Pure in Heart to Experience the Tree of Life
  14. God’s Intention Fulfilled in Transformation
  15. Living Letters of Christ by Beholding and Reflecting His Glory
  16. God’s Ultimate Intention Realized

I am personally reading this book at the moment. And believe me it is excellent. It takes the purpose of man right back to the garden of Eden and unveils what God’s original intent was, what went wrong, and most importantly, how Jesus Christ has redeemed God’s desire and recovered the reality of the tree of life in his own person. I strongly recommend it!

It is available from Amazon in both paperback and kindle for about R80: http://www.amazon.com/Tree-Life-Witness-Lee/dp/0870833006. If you are living in South Africa I can arrange a copy for you for about R100 (email me at dyl.crom@gmail.com).

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You have just finished reading a book review on The Tree of Life – by Witness Lee If you wish to leave a comment, please click on the Comment link below. Also, if you have enjoyed it, please consider sharing it by clicking on the relevant links below the post on the blog. And if you missed last weeks post, click on the link just above the comment box to check it out. Glad to have you aboard!

An Interview with Christian Smith on “The Bible Made Impossible”

Dear Readers

I have recently been made aware of an interesting new book entitled, “The Bible Made Impossible” by Cristian Smith, Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame in America.

In this book, Smith specifically looks at the way we interpret the bible and why in many circumstances it is flawed when applied to real life. Although he is not a New Testament scholar, I think he brings a very valuable perspective to the issue of bible interpretation, namely: is it practical?

Check out this little 2 minute video clip in which he talks about the book.

To gain a deeper insight into his thoughts on the book, I encourage you to Read the complete interview with Christian Smith on “The Bible Made Impossible.” by Frank Viola. It is excellent. I highly recommend giving it a read as it will highlight much of what is covered in the book and give you a good framework from which to understand this conversation in the body of Christ at the present.

My thoughts on this topic!

So often we can get cooped up in our nice little perfectly rounded understandings of scripture and God, but forget that eventually those theories need to work in every day life. When the takkie hits the tar, do those theories actually connect us with God and fill us with Christ? Do they push us deeper into God’s eternal purpose and equip us to see His kingdom come? Or do they puff us up with knowledge or give us a few ideas about how to live human lives?

Ultimately, scripture interpretation must be applied knowledge, and correctly applied knowledge. It must be interpreted in the same way Jesus interpreted scripture for his disciples. He opened them up and taught them how to view the scriptures. In Luke 24:27 while walking with two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus,  it says that “beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

He taught them how to see Himself in it. How to find Christ in it. If scripture does not reveal Christ, it is dead and pointless, even distracting and damaging. This is something that I have been learning recently. How to look at scripture through a Christo-centric lens. How to discover, enjoy and be filled with Christ through the scriptures. And it has dramatically changed my world.

There is one little publication that I have found that really helps paint a picture of how to find Christ in Scripture. And I have made it available for download on the blog. In the “Free Resources” Section on the Home page there is a link entitled: Go Beyond Bible Study: Finding Jesus Christ in Scripture – It links to a great little PDF that you can download for free. I really recommend giving it a read if you are struggling with scripture or desiring more of Christ. It has helped me a lot.

May we continue go deeper into Christ, and learn to discover the endless nature of His person together.

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You have just finished reading an article on Christian Smith’s new book The Bible Made Impossible…  If you wish to leave a comment, please click on the Comment link below. Also, if you have enjoyed it, please consider sharing it by clicking on the relevant links below the post on the blog. And if you missed last weeks post, click on the link just above the comment box to check it out. Glad to have you aboard!