THE WORDS OF THE OPPOSERS BEING MERELY SLANDER
Some people in Christianity do not have this light. In the past year or two in the United States, some opposers wrote pamphlets against us, saying that we teach evolution, that man can evolve into God. Do you think this is right? On the one hand, Paul certainly did say, “For to me, to live is Christ”; in this sense Paul had become Christ. First Timothy 3:16 also says that the church is God manifested in the flesh. However, the opposers are saying that we make ourselves part of the Godhead as the object of man’s worship. Some even say that the people in the local churches teach this to such an extent that eventually they have made themselves God, and therefore they themselves are the object of worship in their meetings, even to worship themselves in their meetings.
In this training at this time, however, we have to learn to speak the word of the truth. We worship God in His Godhead; we do not worship those who have His divine nature. We can be transformed into the image of God (2 Cor. 3:18), having the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4), but we absolutely cannot become the Person of God or the Godhead. We can never share the Godhead. The opposers say that in our teaching we say that we can become the Godhead; this is slander. We are not transformed to be a part of the Godhead; rather, we are transformed to have the divine nature. Today we do have God’s divine nature within us, but we cannot share His Godhead. The Godhead is special and unique, but because of the divine life, we may have the divine nature in a general, or universal, way. As I have said, Christ is the Head and the Body, but we are the Body and cannot be the Head; the Head is a matter related to the Godhead.
Some opposers also say that we teach pantheism. Because we teach that Christ is all and Christ is everything, they say that we make everything Christ, even making the tables and chairs Christ. We ourselves also must be careful. Do not think that because we say Christ is the One who fills all in all that we are saying that all the animals and all the physical things contain Christ. This is the speaking of those who slander us. Such slanderous words contain and are involved with the mysteries and deep things of Satan (Rev. 2:24). Even though the devil is disturbing us, I would like to assure you that the messages we have released are all pure and that they are based upon the divine speaking in the Bible and upon our experience. We do not teach that man can evolve into God, and neither do we teach pantheism. We teach that the unique Creator, who is the Triune God, became flesh and shed His blood to accomplish redemption. Then He rose from the dead and brought His humanity into resurrection, uplifting His humanity and mingling it with divinity. Now He is the all-inclusive, all-accomplishing, life-giving Spirit. He is here waiting for people to believe into Him, receive Him, and enjoy Him. We, the redeemed sinners, must constantly open to Him by His blood to absorb the supply of this all-inclusive Spirit. He frequently contacts us, touches us, and supplies us. As we enjoy Him, He becomes our experience; He spreads out from our spirit, saturating every part of our being until we are filled with Him. In a sense, we have become Him in life and in nature but not in the Godhead. We can say, “For to me, to live is Christ,” and when we come together it is the manifestation of God in the flesh. This is based entirely upon the Bible and can be confirmed by our experience. I believe that now these words can make us clearer about what the church is, how the church is the Body, how the church is the fullness, how this fullness also has a stature with its measure, and how the measure of this stature still needs to grow.
I most surely believe that the voices of the opposers may spread throughout the entire earth. If you young ones are not clear, when you hear their speaking, you will not be able to discern what is true and what is false. This is why I want to make it clear from the outset. You must know that their words are slanderous. You must know that we can never become the Godhead, but we can partake of the divine nature. Second Peter 1:4 says, “Through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature.” We are partakers of the divine nature because we are the children born of God. Every child has the life and the nature of his father, but this does not mean that the child eventually will become his father. We have God’s life and God’s nature, but this does not mean that we will become the Godhead. Nor do we say that Christ fills all, and He fills you and me, and therefore we make all things God, which is pantheism. We acknowledge that Christ fills all, that today He is in the heavens and on the earth, that even now He is in this meeting place and within us; He certainly fills all of us. However, this is not pantheism.
(One Body, One Spirit, and One New Man, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)