THE TRIUNE GOD NOT BEING FOR DOCTRINE BUT FOR THE BELIEVERS’ EXPERIENCE
I was saved in 1925, and in 1931 I experienced a revival. At that time, I would go to a nearby mountain early every morning to draw near to the Lord. Sometimes I would call upon the name of the Lord, and sometimes I would sing hymns of praise and shed tears of thanksgiving. At that time I did not know the teaching concerning calling on the name of the Lord, but I was greatly inspired within. I sensed that God’s love was so deep and so high and the Lord’s grace was so rich, so I called and sang. As I look back now, I see that at that time I was in spirit, and the Spirit was in me, inspiring me with the feeling that God’s love was truly deep, wide, high, and great and that the Lord’s grace was truly rich and abundant. I was filled inwardly with joy unspeakable and full of glory. All saved believers have had some kind of experience like this, although some experiences are deeper while some are shallower, and some are lighter while some are weightier.
According to the truth, the day of the Lord’s resurrection was the day of our salvation (1 Pet. 1:3). According to the fulfillment of the fact, we were not saved until the time we believed and were baptized. According to our experience, however, we do not experience the reality of salvation until we touch the Lord in our spirit. Whenever we touch the Lord in our spirit, we have an inward spiritual sense, which is simply the Holy Spirit. Even though we may not be clear about doctrine at that time, we truly sense the reality and feel that there is a breath within us. This causes us to sense the Spirit, the Father, and the Son, that is, to sense God. When we rejoice and pray, we cry, “O God, O Father, O Lord Jesus.” These kinds of experiences tell us that the Triune God is not for doctrine but for our experience.
Some Bible teachers teach that we should not confuse the three of the Divine Trinity: the Father is simply the Father, the Son is simply the Son, and the Holy Spirit is simply the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when we pray, we should pray in the name of the Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and to the Father. We must not confuse this order, and we must not pray loosely. When I was young, I was taught in this way, and when I practiced to pray in this way, I was full of fear and trembling. I was afraid that if I called wrongly, I would have to repent and confess my sin. However, no matter how careful I was, I could never distinguish the persons of the Triune God when I prayed, and I always had a question within me. Later, I gradually understood from my experience that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are one; that is, the Lord, God, and Christ are one. How can we divide Them? We have only one God. Although He has the aspect of three—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—these three are simply one.
The Lord Jesus has at least three titles: the Lord, Jesus, and Christ. He is one person with three titles because He has three aspects. The Lord is one aspect, Jesus is another aspect, and Christ is still another aspect. This does not mean, however, that because He has three aspects, He can be divided into three parts. These three titles all refer to the same person. Likewise, God has the aspect of three—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit—but cannot be divided into three parts. The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three; the Father and the Son are distinct, and the Son and the Spirit are also distinct. However, they are distinct but not separate. The Three are one.
I did not receive this revelation before I experienced this reality. I was born into Christianity, grew up in Christianity, and was educated in a Christian school, but I was unable to confirm their teachings in my experience. What they taught was one thing, but what I experienced was something else. I spent much time to study the Bible because I wanted to know the real situation. Through my research I discovered that the record of the Bible matched my experience. Isaiah 9:6 says, “A son is given to us…/And His name will be called…/Eternal Father,” and 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “The Lord is the Spirit.” This proves that the Triune God is one person who is focused on the Son as the center. Strictly speaking, the Bible does not say that the Father is the Son or that the Spirit is the Son. Rather, it says that the Son is the Father and the Son is the Spirit. Furthermore, the essence of God is Spirit, so the Bible also says that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are all Spirit, and this God who is Spirit is triune. If we have the clear light concerning the truth, we will see that there is only one God, yet there is the aspect of three—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
Due to the influence of traditional Christianity, we may think that Jesus Christ and the Father are separate and that the Spirit is also separate. Because of this, our understanding of Colossians 1:27, which says that Christ in us is the hope of glory, may be that it is not related to the Father or the Spirit because it only speaks of Christ. This kind of understanding is incorrect. This Christ who is in us as the hope of glory is the very Triune God. In Colossians 2:9 Paul continues to say that in this Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. The Godhead here is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Therefore, all the fullness of the Godhead is all the fullness of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. All this fullness dwells bodily in Christ, and Christ is in us. Therefore, this Christ who is in us is nothing less than the Triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.
(Four Crucial Elements of the Bible, The—Christ, the Spirit, Life, and the Church, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)