THE TRIUNE GOD AND THE BRANCHES IN JOHN 15
John 15 is even more glorious than chapter fourteen! “I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman,” the Lord declares. Consider what is implied in this picture. The Father is the source, the origin, of this vine. It was planted by Him and is cultivated and supplied by Him. He is its soil, its sunshine, its air. The Son is a vine, embodying the Father. All that the Father is, has, and does is wrapped up in this vine.
When we come to John 15:26 the Spirit is brought in. “When the Comforter comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of reality Who proceeds from the Father, He will testify concerning Me.” The Greek preposition translated twice here as “from” has no precise English equivalent. It means “from with.” The Spirit comes from and with the Father. The two cannot be separated; when the Spirit comes, the Father comes.
This is true of the Son also. He came from and with the Father. While He was on the earth, He was not alone; the Father was with Him (John 8:16, 29). Wherever He was, the Father was there also. The three of the Trinity are distinct, but They are not separate. When we have the Father, we have the Son. When we have the Son, we have the Father (1 John 2:23). With the Son, we have the Spirit. The Father is the source of the vine. The Son is the vine. The Spirit is the vine’s life juice.
This great vine is the organism of the Triune God. All that the Father is is in this organism, embodied in this vine, which is the second of the Trinity. Within the vine is the circulating life flow of the Spirit. It is the Spirit who carries the riches of the Father to sustain the vine and its branches. This is the very vine into which we have been grafted. We have been grafted into this organism of the Triune God!
Does this mean that we are deified? I have been accused of teaching that there are four in the Godhead—the Father, the Son, the Spirit, and the church! We are not objects of worship, but we surely have the divine life and the divine nature. The branches unquestionably have the life and nature of the vine. We are children of God. Since God is our Father, we surely have His life and nature. We are members of the Body of Christ. Surely we are one with the Head.
John 14 unveils to us the relationship of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. John 15 goes further to speak of the vine with the branches. John 16 speaks again of the Triune God.
THE TRINITY IN JOHN 16 FOR OUR EXPERIENCE AND ENJOYMENT
“When He, the Spirit of reality, comes, He will guide you into all the reality;…He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine and shall disclose it to you. All that the Father has is Mine; therefore I said that He receives of Mine and shall disclose it to you” (16:13-15). Whatever the Father has is the Son’s. The Son is therefore the embodiment of the Father. Whatever the Son has has been given to the Spirit. The Spirit is therefore the realization of the Son. Then, what the Spirit has He passes on to us. From this sequence we can see that eventually all becomes ours! All that the Father has belongs to the Son. What the Son has the Spirit receives. What the Spirit takes He discloses to us. The Spirit, the Son, and the Father are all ours to possess!
Your experience will confirm this. You surely have the assurance that the Spirit is within. This Spirit is the realization of the Son. The Son within you is the embodiment of the Father. How do you know you have all three within you? By the Spirit! He is real to you, comforting you in sadness, enlightening you in darkness, and bothering you when you would turn aside. Did you have such experiences before you were saved? This inner sustaining and supplying have been yours only since you believed in Him. This rich One within is the realization of the Son, who is the embodiment of the Father. Thus the Triune God is within you for your daily and hourly enjoyment!
After these three chapters—John 14, 15, and 16—unveiling the riches of the Triune God, the Son, lifting His eyes heavenward, prayed, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You” (17:1). How was this glorification to come about? It was by the oneness of the believers (vv. 11, 21, 22, 23).
(The Mending Ministry of John, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)