Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 001-020), by Witness Lee


Romans 2:4 also speaks of God’s longsuffering. This also is a divine attribute. Longsuffering is something more than patience. It means to suffer long. “Longsuffering is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly punish; it is the opposite of anger, and it is associated with mercy” (Hogg and Vine).


In Romans 15:5 God is called the God of endurance. How shall we differentiate longsuffering and endurance? Longsuffering is patience toward the troubling persons, whereas endurance is patience toward the afflicting things. Toward us who give Him trouble, God has His longsuffering; toward the troubles we make, He has endurance. Both longsuffering and endurance are His attributes, which we, as His children should participate in toward people and environment.


Second Corinthians 11:2 says, “For I am jealous over you with a jealousy of God; for I betrothed you to one Husband, to present a pure virgin to Christ.” Jealousy is usually regarded as a negative thing, but it is one of God’s attributes. The most jealous one in the universe is God. He is jealous whenever we love anything or anyone in place of Him. He wants us to love Him uniquely, singly, wholly.

The jealousy of God is like the jealousy of a husband over his wife. No husband could tolerate his wife’s loving another man besides him. Likewise, God is jealous over us. Jealousy, therefore, is one of His attributes.

Knowing that our God is jealous, we should let His jealousy be ours that we would care only for Him, love Him, and allow no one and nothing to replace Him in our hearts. Furthermore, our love for Him should be pure, our mind should be single, and our entire being should be focused on Him. As the jealous One, He cannot tolerate anyone who does not love Him solely and wholly.


Romans 11:22 shows that another attribute of God is severity: “Behold then the kindness and severity of God; on those who fell, severity; but on you the kindness of God, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.” God has both kindness and severity. Although He is kind, He is also very severe. Both kindness and severity are divine attributes.


Impartiality is an attribute of God. Concerning this, Peter says in Acts 10:34, “I surely perceive that God is not a respecter of persons.” In Romans 2:11 Paul says, “There is no respect of persons with God.” Furthermore, in Ephesians 6:9 Paul says, “The masters, do the same things toward them, giving up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in the heavens, and there is no respect of persons with Him.” These verses also indicate that God is impartial.


First Timothy 6:16 declares that God “alone has immortality.” Literally, the Greek word for “immortality” is athanasia, which means deathlessness, denoting freedom from death. Only God possesses immortality in Himself; immortality is an essential element of His being.


Another of God’s attributes is immutability. For God to be immutable means that He is not changeable or variable. Regarding this attribute, James 1:17 says, “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the lights, with whom is no variableness or shadow cast by turning.” The Greek word rendered “variableness” may also be translated “variation.” The Father is the Creator, the source, of the lights, of the heavenly luminaries. With Him there is no shadow cast by turning, as there is with the heavenly orbs in the moon turning its dark side to us, or in the sun being eclipsed by the moon, for He is not variable, not changeable. Because God is unchangeable, immutable, Hebrews 6:17 speaks of “the unchangeableness of His counsel.”

(Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 001-020), Chapter 11, by Witness Lee)