Christ in His Excellency, by Witness Lee


With the foregoing knowledge, we are clear that the riches of Christ are the Triune God Himself. The Bible says clearly that God is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. He is not three Gods but one. How can this one God be the Father, the Son, and the Spirit? Countless people throughout the generations, including theologians, Bible expositors, and preachers, have all studied and discussed this question to a great extent, but after two thousand years of research and discussion there is still no complete answer.

In Christianity today many people have been influenced by tradition to believe that the Father is one God, the Son is another God, and the Spirit is still another God, and that these three Gods added together make up a corporate God. Anyone who has gone to the Vatican, the capital city of the Roman Catholic Church, knows that there is a certain gallery. This gallery does not exhibit many paintings, but it does have two large oil paintings that go from the ceiling to the floor. One painting shows a white-haired old father with a handsome son beside him and a dove above their heads. This is what some in Christianity refer to as the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Spirit. This painting shows that they worship three entities: a Father, a Son, and a dove. The other painting shows the same three plus a lady; they have brought the “Holy Mother” into the Godhead.

Because Christianity has been influenced by tradition, it has lost the reality of Christ. Our God is not three, but one. However, He is triune—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—yet one God. What does this mean? Why is our God one and three? Some people once asked Martin Luther this question, and he answered, “I don’t know. If I say that I know, then I would be God.” Martin Luther was not God, so he did not know. His answer was very reasonable. The persons of the Triune God are very mysterious. We have no way to use our limited intelligence to analyze and understand Him. We can only receive this mysterious revelation according to the plain words of the Bible.

The Bible clearly states, “There is no God but one” (1 Cor. 8:4, 6). Furthermore, God repeatedly says in the Bible, “Apart from Me [singular] there is no God” (Isa. 44:6, 8; 45:5-6, 21-22). Also, Psalm 86:10 says, “You alone are God.” The Bible never says that we have three Gods. We have only one God. However, in the Bible God does refer to Himself as “Us” and “Our” many times (Gen. 1:26; 3:22; 11:6-7). In Isaiah 6:8 God refers to Himself, on the one hand, as “I” and, on the other hand, as “Us.” This is very mysterious, and it is very hard for us to comprehend; therefore, the best we can do is to receive the biblical revelation according to the plain word. There is only one God, so He refers to Himself as “I.” But this one unique God also refers to Himself as “Us.” Even though there is the aspect of God being the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, They cannot be divided and are still one God. Any theology that explains God by separating Him into three separate persons is a great heresy.

In the Gospel of John the Lord Jesus clearly said that He is in the Father and the Father is in Him (14:10-11; 10:38; 17:21) and that He and the Father are one (10:30), and He also told us that the Spirit is from the Father (John 15:26). In Greek the word from in John 15:26 is a preposition which literally means from with. This means that the Spirit of reality comes not only from the Father but also with the Father. Thus, when the Spirit comes, the Father and the Son come together with the Spirit. This is because the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are coexistent and coinherent.

We must be clear that the Bible does not say that when the Son came, the Father no longer existed, and that when the Spirit came, the Son no longer existed. That is the teaching of the erroneous theology called modalism. The modalists say that the Father was in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, in the Gospels when the Son came, the Father ceased to exist, and then after the Gospels, when the Spirit came, the Son was no more. This is heresy. The pure revelation of the Word says that in the Old Testament the Father was there, and the Son and the Spirit were also there; the Three were all there. In the four Gospels of the New Testament, the Son came, and the Father and the Spirit also came; the Three were there simultaneously. In the Epistles, the Spirit came, and the Father and the Son also came with the Spirit. They did not come in the way of replacing one another; rather, They came in the way of coexistence. Furthermore, They did not merely coexist; They coexisted in coinherence. This one complete Triune God and all that He has accomplished become the riches of Christ for our enjoyment as the bountiful supply in our spirit. However, most people who oppose modalism and who claim to be fundamentalists believe that in the Gospels the Son came by Himself, leaving the Father in heaven, and that in the Epistles the Spirit came, leaving the Father and the Son in heaven. This is to lean toward the other extreme, tritheism, which actually is also a great heresy.

(Christ in His Excellency, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)