THE THREE OF THE DIVINE TRINITY
BEING DIFFERENT BUT NOT SEPARATE
Some teachers of the Bible claim that the Bible may be divided into three sections—the Old Testament, the four Gospels, and the books from Acts through Revelation—and that these sections correspond respectively to three ages—the age of the Father, the age of the Son, and the age of the Spirit. According to this view, the work of the Father in the Old Testament was replaced by the work of the Son in the Gospels, and then the work of the Son was replaced by the work of the Spirit in Acts through Revelation. Some who hold this view regard the three of the Divine Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—as three separate persons. However, after many years of study and experience, we can say that this understanding of the Triune God is not accurate.
The three of the Divine Trinity are different, or distinct, but they are not separate. If the Son were not different from the Father, the Son could not pray to the Father, as He did in John 17. Nevertheless, the Father and the Son are inseparable, for the Father and the Son coinhere, that is, the Son exists in the Father and the Father exists in the Son. For this reason, the Lord Jesus could say to Philip, who had asked Him to show them the Father, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how is it that you say, Show us the Father? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak from Myself, but the Father who abides in Me does His works" (John 14:9b-10). Here we see that the Father and the Son, although distinct, coinhere and thus cannot be separated. Furthermore, the Father and the Son are in the Spirit, and the Spirit is in the Father and the Son. If we see this, we will realize that the God who was incarnated and moved on earth was the Triune God.
The New Testament unveils to us that Christ the Son is the embodiment of the Triune God and that the Spirit is the realization of the Son and the reality of Christ. Because the Spirit is the reality of Christ, we cannot have Christ apart from the Spirit, who is the consummation of the processed and consummated Triune God.
(Life-Study of Job, Chapter 17, by Witness Lee)