The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man, by Witness Lee

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The divine fellowship is the dispensing of the Triune God into us, the tripartite men, making us and God one. Actually, this oneness is the fellowship. The Greek word for fellowship, koinonia, means joint participation, and this joint participation issues in oneness. When a husband participates in his wife and his wife participates in him, they are one. Actually, fellowship is just oneness. When God is fellowshipping with us, and when we are fellowshipping with God, that makes God and us one. In the whole universe, there is a big oneness, and this big oneness is the divine fellowship. We, the tripartite men, are one with the Triune God. In John 17 the Lord prayed, "That they may be one, even as We are one" (v. 22b). The Lord’s desire is to make us all one like the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one. The church’s oneness is a part of the divine oneness of the Divine Trinity. Eventually, the church and the Divine Trinity are one in fellowship.


For this fellowship there is the desperate need of the Spirit. Actually, the Spirit Himself is the fellowship. The grace of Christ means that Christ is grace, the love of God means that God is love, and the fellowship of the Spirit means that the Spirit is the fellowship. We need the fellowship, the Spirit, but there are obstacles between us and God and between us and one another.


I am concerned that some among us are not thoroughly in this divine fellowship. In the training, I may have to speak a frank, faithful word to the trainees, but my frank speaking may bother them. That bothering may become an obstacle within them. If I were to always speak highly of the trainees, there would surely be no obstacle among us, but if I speak frankly to them, that may create an obstacle within them. Because there is an obstacle within you toward another brother, your fellowship with him is not that thorough. We may avoid contact with certain saints because of the obstacles within us to the divine fellowship. Our fellowship is not thorough and obstacles remain within us because we do not have the cross in our experience.

We may feel that we should exercise our patience and endurance with the saints to bear with them, but this kind of exercise is according to the teaching of Confucius. This is not the Bible’s teaching. The Bible tells us to take the cross. Paul said in Galatians 2:20a, "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." This is the way of the cross. Because "it is no longer I," I do not have any feeling about someone’s criticism of me. This does not mean I exercise my patience, my endurance, and my longsuffering. This kind of exercise is in the ethical field, the field of the teaching of Confucius.

We need to see what patience is. Brother Watchman Nee helped me to see this. When I worked with him in Shanghai, we had many times of personal fellowship together. One day in 1933 he said to me, "Witness, what is patience?" I replied that patience was something exercised to bear and to endure ill treatment or persecution from others. He said that this was not patience. When he said this, I asked him to tell me what patience was. He would not tell me right away. Eventually, he said, "Patience is Christ." From that day my eyes were opened to see that Christ is our real ethics. The apostle Paul experienced Christ as his endurance and Christ as his patience. In order for us to have the patience of which Confucius speaks, we do not need Christ. However, for us to have the biblical patience, we need Christ because He is our patience.

(The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man, Chapter 19, by Witness Lee)